Friday, October 24, 2003



Percentage of childless older women on the increase according to Census report




A story released today by U.S. Newswire reports that according to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 18 percent of women ages 40 to 44 in 2002 had never had a child, compared with 10 percent in 1976. Women in the same age group, on average, had 1.9 children in 2002, considerably fewer than the 1976 average of 3.1 children.

According to the report, Fertility of American Women: June 2002, 44 percent of all women of childbearing age (15-to-44 years old) were childless. Seventy-one percent of these childless women participated in the labor force.

The report also shows that Hispanic women accounted for about 20 percent of all births in the year ending in June 2002. Non-Hispanic white women had 60 percent of all births; black women had 15 percent; and Asians and Pacific islanders 5 percent.

Other highlights of the report:

During the four-year period 1994-98, the overall labor force participation rate of mothers with infant children (under age one) increased from 53 percent to 59 percent. But from 1998-2002, the rate dropped from 59 percent to 55 percent, not different from the 1994 level. It is the only recorded decline in labor force participation of mothers with infant children since the Census Bureau began calculating this measure in 1976.

Thirty-three percent of all births in 2002 were to unmarried women, a proportion that was about the same in 1998. Eight percent (307,000) of all births were to women in cohabiting unions. Black women were more likely than Hispanic or non-Hispanic white women to have births out of wedlock.

In 2002, 89 percent of births to teenagers were out of wedlock, while only 12 percent of women 30-to-44 years old giving birth were unmarried.

Data are from the June 2002 fertility supplement to the Current Population Survey and earlier fertility supplements.







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