The June 2010 Census fertility survey is yielding data now, and today’s headline tells us there’s a “’Delayer Boom’ as More Educated Women Have Children Later.” Not a surprise here, or really not a surprise probably anywhere by now. But good to have the documentation.
Here are the charts.
Since women are increasingly having kids after 35 and 40, it’s not a complete portrait of what women will do to look at women 35-44 as a group and assume they’ve pretty much all had all their kids. Many of them will have more. So the chart is showing you there is a delay effect, but doesn’t quite tell you the full story, because they don’t have data on women at 45 and over, when they are pretty much finished bearing [though that's going to be less and less true, as the egg-donation (way-delayer) boom is on the way].
The recessionary effect also plays in — birth rates have been down in the last few years in all age groups below 40, so the rate among women 35-39 is lower than it would otherwise have been, and not reflective of what will be the long run trend if the economy recovers.
All this affects the study’s conclusion that women with a college degree or more will end up with around 1.7 kids, as opposed to women with less than a high school degree with 2.5 kids. Increasing numbers of women, many of them with BAs and more, are having kids in the 40-44 range every year (see story on the 2009 data below). And of course none of this data includes adopted children. Stay tuned!