A recent study indicated that 47.6 percent of women between 15 and 44 are childless, which is the biggest number since the Census Bureau started keeping records in 1976. In 2012, the number of women between 15 and 44 that did not have children was 46.5 percent, so the number of women choosing not to have kids is continuing to grow. What is even more interesting is that the number of women without children between ages 25 and 29 skyrocketed to an all-time high to 49.6 percent. When it came to between 30 and 34-year-old women, the number of childless was 28.9 percent, which is lower than the all-time high of 29.7 percent from 2010. The study itself was done looking back at 2014, so these numbers are showing more women are choosing to remain childless well into the later years of life.
The fertility rates of women in the United States also declined for the sixth year in a row, which measures how many children are born to females in the United States each year. When the study was done in 2013, it was at 1.86, meaning not quite 2 babies per woman in the United States who are between 15 and 44. If the United States wanted to keep the same type of population rate, then the fertility rate would need to be about 2.1. This means that the United States is going to see a decline in population rates, which is not necessarily a bad thing if you believe the nation is overpopulated already.
While these numbers are surprising, it is part of a growing trend where women are becoming more career-focused during high school, and then entering college to learn skills for a job. More women have ditched the old lifestyle of staying home, getting married, and having a family. Now, women are out in the workforce, getting educations, and even deciding to do more manly things, such as join up in the military or go overseas to study abroad. There has also been a lot more interest in the past 5 years of freezing eggs, which is something women who are 30 and older should be doing if they are childless. More women are finding out that they don’t want children when they are 20 or even 30, but once they hit about 40, that is when they finally decide that they want to start their family. However, because of the biological clock, it used to be impossible for women to have a booming career and then focus on kids at 40, but that has changed. Women of today are freezing their eggs when they hit about 30, then continuing to move on with their jobs, and then down the road settling down to start the family they always wanted.
A lot of the results of the study can be attributed to women being able to freeze their eggs and go through various fertility treatments that used to not be available. It is always suggested that women freeze their eggs before 35 because the rate of success as a woman gets older is slimmer, so you want to harvest the eggs when you are still fairly young. Between work and just not really feeling like starting a family these days, the fertility rates will likely continue to fall, especially as technology advances the ages that women are able to have kids safely.