According to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data, more and more highly educated women in the U.S. are having children and bigger families. That data show that childlessness among women in their 40s with an M.D. or Ph.D. has fallen significantly over the last two decades.
Around 22 percent of women aged 40–44 with a master’s degree or higher are childless; that’s down from 30 percent in 1994. Those women who have an M.D. or Ph.D. are having kids even more dramatically—their childless rate has fallen from 35 percent in 1994 to 20 percent today.
Highly educated women are also choosing to have bigger families. Sixty percent of women with a master’s degree have two or more children, up from 51 percent in 1994.
“This trend has likely been driven by demographic and societal changes,” writes Gretchen Livingston, the study’s senior researcher. “It coincides with women’s growing presence in managerial and leadership positions and suggests that an increasing share of professional women are confronting the inevitable push and pull of work-family balance.”
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