Childfree - Statistics and Research - Factors Involved in Voluntary Childlessness

Factors Involved in Voluntary Childlessness

Age: while younger women are more likely to be childless, older women are more likely to state that they intend to remain childless in the future.

Race/Ethnicity/Nationality: According to 2004 U.S. Census Bureau data, the proportion of childless women 15 to 44 years old was 44.6 percent, up from 35 percent in 1976. The data showed that 20.6% of white women were childless, compared with 17.2% of black women, 15.9% of Asian women and 12.4% of Hispanic women.

Marriage & Relationships: Being unmarried is one of the strongest predictors of childlessness. It has also been suggested through research that married individuals who were concerned about the stability of their marriages were more likely remain childless.

Socioeconomic Status/Labor Force Participation: Most studies on this subject find that higher income predicted childlessness however, some women report that that lack of financial resources was a reason why they decided to remain childless. Childless women in the developed world often express the view that women ultimately have to make a choice between motherhood and having a career. The 2004 Census Bureau data showed nearly half of women with annual incomes over $100,000 are childless.

Education The chance of being childless was far greater for never married women (35–44 yrs old), 82.5% vs. ever-married (12.9%). Chance of childlessness (age 35–44) by education level: Graduate or Professional degree (27.6%) vs not-H.S. graduate (13.5%), H.S. graduate (14.3%), Some College no degree (24.7%), Associate Degree (11.4%) and Bachelor's degree (18.2%). The higher the level of education, the more likely a woman is to remain childless.

No High school Diploma 16%
High school Diploma 18%
Some college 20%
Bachelor or higher 25%
Educational Differences in childlessness among women 40-44 yrs old in the U.S, 2004

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