Gretchen Livingston is a Senior Researcher at the Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project. Her primary areas of interest include immigrant adaptation, gender, social networks and family structure. She earned her Ph.D. in Demography and Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania, and prior to joining the Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project she was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Princeton University Office of Population Research. Read full bio
Is U.S. fertility at an all-time low? It depends
There are three main ways to measure fertility. None of them is “right” or “wrong,” but each tells a different story about when births bottomed out.
For most highly educated women, motherhood doesn’t start until the 30s
More than half (54%) of mothers near the end of their childbearing years with at least a master’s degree had their first child after their 20s. In fact, one-fifth didn’t become mothers until they were at least 35. Some 28% became moms in their late 20s, and 18% had children earlier in their lives.
Less than half of U.S. kids today live in a ‘traditional’ family
Less than half (46%) of U.S. kids younger than 18 years of age are living in a home with two married heterosexual parents in their first marriage, a marked changed from 1960.
Tying the knot again? Chances are, there’s a bigger age gap than the first time around
Not only are men who have recently remarried more likely than those beginning a first marriage to have a spouse who is younger; in many cases, she is much younger. Some 20% of men who are newly remarried have a wife who is at least 10 years their junior, and another 18% married a woman who is 6-9 years younger.
Texas moms are most likely to give birth in the same state they were born
How common is it for new parents to put down roots in the same areas that they themselves were born? The answer, according to a new Pew Research analysis, depends on which part of the country they hail from.
Birth rate for unmarried women declining for first time in decades
For the first time in decades, the non-marital birth rate in the U.S. has been declining. It’s likely that the decline occurred as a result of the economic recession of 2007-2009.
Opting out? About 10% of highly educated moms are staying at home
Among mothers with professional degrees, such as medical degrees, law degrees or nursing degrees, 11% are out of the workforce in order to care for their families, as are 9% of Master’s degree holders and 6% of mothers with a Ph.D.
Among Hispanics, immigrants more likely to be stay-at-home moms and to believe that’s best for kids
Views among Hispanics born in the U.S. mirror those of all Americans—about six-in-ten believe that kids are better off if a parent stays home to focus on the family. But a far larger majority—85%–of foreign-born Hispanics say that children are better off if a parent is at home.
Birth rates lag in Europe and the U.S., but the desire for kids does not
While there are many factors driving what some deem a ‘Baby Bust’ in Europe and—to a lesser extent—the U.S., a lack of desire for children is not among them.
In terms of childlessness, U.S. ranks near the top worldwide
American women have one of the highest rates of childlessness in the world and one of the lowest average number of births.