American women are having children later than ever, but they’re also having more children than they did 10 years ago.
In 2006, 80 percent of older women, aged 40-44, had kids. Ten years later, that jumped to 86 percent, Pew Research Center reported, adding that the numbers were similar to the early 1990s.
Pew says the median age of an American woman becoming a mother is 26. That’s up from 23 in 1994. One reason is that fewer teenage women are having children. The so-called Great Recession also contributed to women having children later in life, Pew said, citing more women in the workforce and delayed marriage as other drivers.
In 1994, 53 percent of women toward the end of their childbearing years had become mothers by age 24. That compares to 39 percent in 2014.
Education levels appear to determine the number of children older mothers had. For example, women without a college degree had kids about the same amount as 20 years ago. For those with higher levels of education, there has been a large increase.
Pew found that the higher the education level, the more likelihood an older women would be a mother. The biggest increase was seen among women with Ph.Ds. In 1994, 65 percent were mothers. That jumped to 80 percent in 2014.
Women are also increasingly having children out of wedlock. In 1994, 31 percent of never-married older women had at least one child. In 2014, it was 55 percent. For older married women, 88 percent had at least one child in 1994. By 2014, the number was up to 90 percent.