Fertility Rates of American Women by Educational Attainment

The Census Bureau recently released new data on the fertility of women in the United States. The study shows that 43.4 percent of all American women ages 15 to 50 in 2016 were childless. Only 16 percent of women between the age of 40 and 50 have never had a child.

When we break down the data by educational attainment, we see that 11.6 percent of women who never completed high school were childless. As we move up the educational ladder, we see that at each higher level of education, women were more likely to be childless than women with a lower level of education.

For women, ages 40 to 50, who were high school graduates but had no college experience, 13.8 percent had never had a child. For those women with a bachelor’s degree but no higher degree, 17.3 percent never had children. For women with a graduate or professional degree, 22.3 percent never gave birth.

For women ages 40 to 50, only 14.1 percent had never been married. Of these non-married women, 44.2 percent did not have a child. But for women who had never been married and had a graduate or professional degree, 75.1 never had a child.

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