Monday, May 09, 2016

Fertility of Baby Boom Women

The baby-boom generation was the first to make working mothers the norm. They succeeded, according to an analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite juggling work and family, fully 83 percent of boomer women had children. The BLS analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, which has been tracking a nationally representative sample of people born between 1957 and 1964 (younger boomers) since they were aged 14 to 22. To analyze the completed fertility of boomer women, the BLS examined data from the 2010 interview, when respondents were aged 46 to 53. These are some of the findings...
  • Educated boomers had fewer children: Boomer women had an average of 1.97 children, but the number varied by educational attainment. Women without a high school diploma had the most children—an average of 2.47. Fertility declined with increasing educational attainment. Women with a bachelor's degree had an average of only 1.68 children.
  • Hispanic boomers had more children: The average Hispanic boomer had 2.29 children, Blacks had 2.15, and non-Hispanic Whites had 1.92. But the ranking changed after controlling for educational attainment. Among women with a bachelor's degree, non-Hispanic Whites had the most children (1.71), and Blacks had the least (1.47). Hispanic women with a bachelor's degree had 1.52 children.
  • Boomer women with full-time jobs had fewer children: Women who spent less than a quarter of the years since they were aged 25 in full-time jobs had the most children, an average of 2.54. The number of children declined with increasing full-time work. Women who worked full-time in more than three-quarters of the years since they were 25 had an average of only 1.36 children. 
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Fertility of Women in the NLSY79

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