More Women Who Have a PhD or MD Also Have Kids

80% of American women ages 40 to 44 with such a degree now have a kid
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2015 9:30 AM CDT
More Women Who Have a PhD or MD Also Have Kids
80% of American women ages 40 to 44 with an MD or PhD now have a kid.   (Michael Zamora/Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP)

Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reported that married women in the US are having more children, while unmarried women are having fewer. It may not be a coincidence, then, that a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census data finds that more married women in the US who are also highly educated are now having kids, and more of them. "Postgraduate education and motherhood are increasingly going hand-in-hand," writes Pew's Gretchen Livingston. Specifically, 78% of US women between the ages of 40 and 44 with a master's degree or more had at least one child last year, up from 70% in 1994. And when only looking at women with a PhD or MD, that figure jumps more, from 65% in 1994 to 80% in 2014.

Dissecting the numbers even further, the report finds that among these highly educated mothers, those with just one kid dropped from 28% in 1994 to 23% in 2014, while the percentage of those with three or more kids ticked up from 22% to 27%. At the same time, more women in this age range have advanced degrees now (14%) than they did in 1994 (10%), so "it's natural to some extent for recent numbers to reflect more child-having among highly educated women," reports the Wall Street Journal. How Livingston frames the findings: "It ... suggests that an increasing share of professional women are confronting the inevitable push and pull of work-family balance." (Another baby story making headlines: a rare court case in which twins were found to have different fathers.)

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