Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Childlessness Up Among All Women; Down Among Women with Advanced Degrees

Pew Research ReportFYI Readers, I made a brief appearance on yesterday's Wendy Williams show. Both Wendy and the mom blogger agreed that there's nothing wrong with choosing to be childfree, making my job pretty easy.
Over the past few decades, public attitudes toward childlessness have become more accepting. Most adults disagree that people without children "lead empty lives," a share that rose to 59% in 2002 from 39% in 1988, according to the General Social Survey. In addition, children increasingly are seen as less central to a good marriage. In a 2007 Pew Research Center survey, 41% of adults said that children are very important for a successful marriage, a decline from 65% who said so in 1990.

As for the impact on society, attitudes are more mixed. About half the public -- 46% in a 2009 Pew Research Center poll -- say it makes no difference one way or the other that a growing share of women do not ever have children. Still, a notable share of Americans -- 38% in that 2009 survey -- say this trend is bad for society, an increase from 29% in a 2007 Pew Research survey.

Compared with other developed nations, childless rates in the United States are on par with some nations and higher than others, according to data compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Among women born in 1960, 17% in the U.S. were childless at approximately age 40, compared with 22% in the United Kingdom, 19% in Finland and the Netherlands, and 17% in Italy and Ireland. Rates ranged from 12% to 14% for Spain, Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Sweden, and from 7% to 11% for several Eastern European countries and Iceland.
Technorati Tag:

No comments: