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Census: Educated Women Provide a 'Delayer Boom'

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College-educated women are having children later than those with only a high school diploma, creating what the Census Bureau is calling a "delayer boom."

In 2000, the census found found fewer than half of women women 25 to 34 with at least a bachelor's degree had given birth. By 2010, 76 percent of those same women, now ages 35 to 44, had given birth to at least one child.

"Highly educated women initially delay childbearing but are more likely to have children into their 30s," Census Bureau demographer Kristy Krivickas said in a statement. 

Overall, college-educated women continue to have fewer children than those with only a high school diploma. Women age 35 to 44 with a bachelor's had given birth 1.7 times on average, compared to 2.5 births per person for their less educated counterparts.

Among the report's other highlights:

  • More than half (55 percent) of women who had a child in the last year were in the labor force. Of those women, about one third (34 percent) were working full time, 14 percent were working part time, and 7 percent were unemployed.
  • White women were the most likely to be childless. More than 20 percent of white non-Hispanic women were still childless into their 40s, the Census found, compared to 12.4 percent of Hispanic women, 17.2 percent of black women, and 15,9 percent of Asian women.
  • Immigrant women were more likely to have ever had a baby than were native-born women by the age of 40 to 44, at 87 percent compared with 80 percent.

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