Facebook Pixel

More Than Half of American Women are Childless, New Study Finds

By HERWriter
Rate This
less women having babies Auremar/PhotoSpin

Today women are entering the workforce more than our grandmothers, and even more than our mothers. How is this affecting our personal lives?

According to TIME Magazine, a recent study stated that nearly half of women between 15 and 44 are now childless, making it the highest percentage since the U.S. Census Bureau started measuring it in 1976.

As women, we usually have many reasons to back up our decisions. The topic of having children is no exception.

In a personal narrative on Huffington Post, Sezin Koehler listed eight reasons why she wasn’t planning on having children.

Her reasons spanned a wide spectrum, from how much a child costs, to the physical toll pregnancy has on the body, to the fact that there are 153 million orphans in the world. So why doesn’t she just adopt?

“I do not assume that my personal life choices are so fundamental that other people are less human or will live less fulfilled lives because they don't make the same ones,” said Koehler in response to the backlash she and her husband received after announcing their decision to loved ones.

Although some women are opting out of motherhood altogether, it seems that some are just waiting until later in life. TIME Magazine said, “In the group between 30 and 34, 28.9% were childless.”

Marriage statistics also indicate that times have seemed to change. “In 1960, 72% of all adults ages 18 and older were married; today just 51% are,” according to PEW Research Center.

What was your reaction to the recent statistics? Is motherhood a necessity? Let us know in the comments.


More Women Aren’t Having Children, Survey Finds. Time.

8 Reasons Why I'm Not Having Children. Huffington Post.

Barely Half of U.S. Adults Are Married – A Record Low. PewResearchCenter.

Reviewed April 10, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment11 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I don't have kids yet because I haven't been able to support myself independently and consistently enough to afford them, despite having a college degree. Now I'm almost 35 and I know my chances are getting slimmer the longer I wait, but it doesn't ever seem like there will be enough money to afford a baby. It breaks my heart.

August 25, 2015 - 1:50pm
EmpowHER Guest

There's just no reason to have children. It's not as if the world would stop turning if humanity went extinct.

Besides that, I've always despised children and have never had any maternal instinct whatsoever. I've had to listen to idiots shrieking nonsense about how I'll "change my mind later because all women want children!!!!!!!", etc. What BS. I want fun and freedom. Not drudgery and endless responsibility and debt and the ruination of my body and mind from pregnancy and motherhood.

The most shrill critics are just mad that they didn't think more carefully before mindlessly following irrational animal urges to breed and got stuck ruining the primes of their lives with kids they truly barely like.

June 20, 2015 - 4:40pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Imagine if your mom thought the same way...

September 16, 2015 - 1:58pm
EmpowHER Guest

Evolution in action. Those who do not want kids will be less represented in the future gene pool. This is an algorithm, it is completely value free.

June 20, 2015 - 10:51am
EmpowHER Guest

I'm over 50 and I never wanted kids from the time I was one. I have always had an above average sex drive and have had boyfriends that complained about the level of sexual activity I enjoy.
I would think that having kids would reduce the sex drive because it would be like being punished for having a good time

June 13, 2015 - 4:52pm
EmpowHER Guest

"Women" aged 15 shouldn't be having children anyway. Make the age range more reasonable. Make it between age 21 and 40. Then I betcha fewer than half of American women don't have children.

I never have children and I'm over 40. My choice was not based on feminism or following a cult or whatever the repliers here are saying. I didn't have children because I have no parental instinct and I don't like children.

May 30, 2015 - 12:27pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

You're a smart woman to go with your instinct.  You also seem happy with your choice and not bitter than others made different decisions.  Without procreation, the human race will end and we can't allow that to happen.  But not everyone wants to (or should, as we sadly know) and this is also a good thing. 


August 25, 2015 - 3:28pm
EmpowHER Guest

I LOOOOOOOOVVEE how the two comments here are of completely opposite world-views, and yet each exist in presumably female heads...can we just give up on the entire concept that "women" as a group can agree about anything at all, as if vaginas are hyper-linked to a hive mind? It's not like it was ever was true for men, either...

I have a question for the "Anonymous" at 9:18am who is afraid of feminism, though:
If you are so afraid of feminism, shouldn't you be happy that (presumably feminists) are the ones who are not breeding?

May 24, 2015 - 11:13am
EmpowHER Guest

Don't worry-- despite the increase in American women deciding not to breed, there are still plenty of people in the world. Our species isn't disappearing anytime soon, so rest assured (if this is something that worries you). Me? I'm worried we're not going to be disappearing FAST enough...

May 23, 2015 - 11:21am
EmpowHER Guest

Feminism has always been a death cult. From abortions to child free, it's a social suicide pact.

May 23, 2015 - 9:18am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!