The more educated women are having more children

The more educated women are having more children

While the overall birth rate keeps declining, well-educated women seem to be having more children, not fewer. A new report from the Pew Research Centre, based on an analysis of census data, looks at women who have reached their mid-40s (when the vast majority of women stop having children) over the past two decades. It finds that the proportion of all women who reach that age without ever having a child has fallen, but the decline is sharpest among the best-educated women. In 1994, 35% of women with a doctoral degree aged 40 to 44 were childless; by last year, this had fallen to 20% (see chart). Their families are bigger, too. In 1994, half of women with a master’s degree had had two more or more children. By last year, the figure was 60%. It still holds true that the better-educated a woman is, the less likely she is to have a child. But Pew’s data show that the gap has narrowed.

Why might older, better-educated women be having more children? Partly because access to education has widened—and so women who were always going to have children are spending more time in college. Another reason is that fertility treatment has improved dramatically, and access to that, too, has widened. Older women who, in the past, wanted children but were unable to have them are now able to.

But according to Philip Cohen, a demographer at the University of Maryland, this does not explain the entire leap. Rather, social changes in the nature of marriage seem to be driving the change. Whereas marriage was once near-universal and unequal, in recent decades it has become a deliberate option and more equal. Well-educated women have been able to form strong relationships with similarly brainy men, in which both parents earn and both do some child care. Getting an education and having a career are no longer always a barrier to having children; sometimes, they make it easier.

In 1965, mothers spent seven times as long caring for children as fathers did. By 2012 they were spending “only” twice as much time elbow-deep in formula and Pampers. According to Stephanie Coontz, of Evergreen State College in Washington, how much time fathers spend helping to bring up children is the main determinant of whether mothers will have a second child. For more see

The Economist

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31% of children living in single-parent households were living below the poverty line

Single Parents and Poverty

The dramatic changes that have taken place in family living arrangements have no doubt contributed to the growing share of children living at the economic margins. In 2014, 62% of children younger than 18 lived in a household with two married parents – a historic low, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The share of U.S. kids living with only one parent stood at 26% in 2014. And the share in households with two parents who are living together but not married (7%) has risen steadily in recent years.1

These patterns differ sharply across racial and ethnic groups. Large majorities of white (72%) and Asian-American (82%) children are living with two married parents, as are 55% of Hispanic children. By contrast only 31% of black children are living with two married parents, while more than half (54%) are living in a single-parent household.

The economic outcomes for these different types of families vary dramatically. In 2014, 31% of children living in single-parent households were living below the poverty line, as were 21% of children living with two cohabiting parents.2 By contrast, only one-in-ten children living with two married parents were in this circumstance. In fact, more than half (57%) of those living with married parents were in households with incomes at least 200% above the poverty line, compared with just 21% of those living in single-parent households according to Pew .

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Divorce affects kids

Family Law Lake Forest

Wouldn’t life be nice if all marriages worked out? Unfortunately, they don’t. Many end in divorce.

That separation affects children. The question is, how much?

The answer: Divorce is almost always stressful for children and can impact kids as young as four.

But divorce impacts every child differently, says Jean Russner, clinical manager at Outpatient Behavior Health at Holland Hospital. The effects depend on the temperament and age of the children and how the parents handle the divorce.

“You want to be careful of boundaries,” Russner said. “Just like you wouldn’t discuss certain things with young children, even teenage children, there are aspects in that marital relationship and the conflict within that marital relationship that don’t need to be known.”

During Russner’s time as a therapist, she has found that kids often feel sad, mad or anxious. They begin to question things. They can feel like one of the parents is leaving them. And they frequently become more defiant, because they feel like they can’t control what’s happening at home.

Sometimes children become clingy, have separation anxiety, and can even have trouble keeping long-term relationships when they grow up.

Russner says it’s important to let your child form their own opinions of the situation and make sure to remind your children that the divorce wasn’t their fault and they they are loved, “that mom and dad are having some issues that we just couldn’t work it out. It was not because you were naughty or bad, and that we know this is going to be rough, and we’re going to do as much as we can to get through this all together.”

 

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31% of children living in single-parent households were living below the poverty line

Single Parents and Poverty

The dramatic changes that have taken place in family living arrangements have no doubt contributed to the growing share of children living at the economic margins. In 2014, 62% of children younger than 18 lived in a household with two married parents – a historic low, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The share of U.S. kids living with only one parent stood at 26% in 2014. And the share in households with two parents who are living together but not married (7%) has risen steadily in recent years.1

These patterns differ sharply across racial and ethnic groups. Large majorities of white (72%) and Asian-American (82%) children are living with two married parents, as are 55% of Hispanic children. By contrast only 31% of black children are living with two married parents, while more than half (54%) are living in a single-parent household.

The economic outcomes for these different types of families vary dramatically. In 2014, 31% of children living in single-parent households were living below the poverty line, as were 21% of children living with two cohabiting parents.2 By contrast, only one-in-ten children living with two married parents were in this circumstance. In fact, more than half (57%) of those living with married parents were in households with incomes at least 200% above the poverty line, compared with just 21% of those living in single-parent households according to Pew .

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The more educated women are having more children

While the overall birth rate keeps declining, well-educated women seem to be having more children, not fewer. A new report from the Pew Research Centre, based on an analysis of census data, looks at women who have reached their mid-40s (when the vast majority of women stop having children) over the past two decades. It finds that the proportion of all women who reach that age without ever having a child has fallen, but the decline is sharpest among the best-educated women. In 1994, 35% of women with a doctoral degree aged 40 to 44 were childless; by last year, this had fallen to 20% (see chart). Their families are bigger, too. In 1994, half of women with a master’s degree had had two more or more children. By last year, the figure was 60%. It still holds true that the better-educated a woman is, the less likely she is to have a child. But Pew’s data show that the gap has narrowed.

Why might older, better-educated women be having more children? Partly because access to education has widened—and so women who were always going to have children are spending more time in college. Another reason is that fertility treatment has improved dramatically, and access to that, too, has widened. Older women who, in the past, wanted children but were unable to have them are now able to.

But according to Philip Cohen, a demographer at the University of Maryland, this does not explain the entire leap. Rather, social changes in the nature of marriage seem to be driving the change. Whereas marriage was once near-universal and unequal, in recent decades it has become a deliberate option and more equal. Well-educated women have been able to form strong relationships with similarly brainy men, in which both parents earn and both do some child care. Getting an education and having a career are no longer always a barrier to having children; sometimes, they make it easier.

In 1965, mothers spent seven times as long caring for children as fathers did. By 2012 they were spending “only” twice as much time elbow-deep in formula and Pampers. According to Stephanie Coontz, of Evergreen State College in Washington, how much time fathers spend helping to bring up children is the main determinant of whether mothers will have a second child. For more see

The Economist

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Children’s health ‘worse’ if staying with one parent – ‘better’ if custody shared

ROSIE O'DONNELL (HOLDING DAUGHTER DAKOTA)Children who live with both parents after a divorce are less likely to develop health issues, a new study suggests.

Researchers from Sweden examined data from almost 150,000 children who were either 12 or 15 years old. Sixty-nine per cent of them lived with married parents, 19 per cent spent time living with both parents and 13 per cent lived in a single parent household.

These living situations were compared against rates of “psychosomatic health problems”, such astrouble sleeping, loss of appetite, headaches, tension and sadness. The data showed that children who lived with married parents had the fewest instances of such problems.

Meanwhile, children of divorce who live with both parents exhibit significantly fewer of these problems than those who only live with one parent.

Study author Malin Bergström is a researcher at the Centre for Health Equity Studies in Stockholm. She said that while many may have “assumed that these children should be more stressed”, their research seems to contradict this conventional wisdom.

“Having everyday contact with both parents seems to be more important, in terms of stress, than living in two different homes”, she added.

There were higher instances of psychosomatic problems among girls, with sadness identified as the most common. However, the biggest problem among children regardless of gender was trouble sleeping.

The study was published in the latest edition of the academic Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health

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