Pew Research

Recent Pew Research & a Look Back at Wharton School Study

A recent Pew Research Center survey with 4581 respondents has interesting results for those with no children:

-37% of respondents under 50 years old with no children “say they don’t ever expect to become parents.”

-23% of respondents under 50 years old with no children “say they’re unlikely to have children in the future because they just don’t want to.” 

-3 in 10 of respondents under 40 with no children “say they are unlikely to become parents someday.”

This survey brought to mind…

Reading about the survey brought to mind the 2013 book, Baby Bust: New Choices for Men and Women in Work and Family by Stewart Friedman. This book summarizes a cross-generational study of college students that produced a “stark discovery: the rate of graduates who plan to have children has dropped by nearly half over the past 20 years.”

Conducted by the Wharton Work/Life Integration Project at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the study surveyed 496 members of the 1992 Wharton undergraduate class, then 307 of the 2012 graduating class.

When the 2012 grads were asked, “Do you plan to have children?”:

-41% of women said yes, 14% said probably, and 27% said probably not or no.
-42% of men said yes, 12% said probably, 30% said probably not or no.

In 2012, we can assume that many or most of the grads were in their early 20s, and would now be in their late 20s/possibly early 30s, so under 40.

I find it interesting that in the Pew Research survey, 3 in 10 (30%) under 40 responded that they are unlikely to become parents someday, and for the 2012 grads in the Wharton study, it is about the same: about 3 in 10 (27% for women and 30% for men) responded “probably not or no.”

In the Wharton study, the ‘probably not or no’ respondents were not given a chance to answer questions directly related to their level of desire to become parents. This recent Pew survey allowed for answers to clearly state because respondents just did not want to have them.

The longitudinal nature of the Wharton study is also very informative. I wish we could continue to track the 2012 grads as well as the under-40-year-olds in the recent Pew survey for a longitudinal look at their reproductive lives. 

A Longitudinal Look

A longitudinal look at how reproductive lives evolve over time is just what I have been doing for the last nine years. I have been conducting a 10-year study with over 25 women who at the outset identified themselves as childfree. With one more year to go, I have to say this first-of-its-kind study has been an incredible research project with amazing women. I look forward to sharing its results!

holiday season

Holiday Season Advertisers: It’s More Than Time to Target Women Without Children

Every holiday season, advertisers spend billions of marketing dollars to get us to buy their products and services. At this time of year, advertisers lose revenue because they don’t market to a specific demographic: the 47 percent of American women of childbearing age who are not mothers. Continue reading “Holiday Season Advertisers: It’s More Than Time to Target Women Without Children”


Getting Personal: The Personality Brokers Book on the MBTI Inspires a Fun Look Back


I just finished the audible version of The Personality Brokers: The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and the Birth of Personality Testing by associate professor of English at the University of Oxford, Merve Emre. Rather than post a review in my Book Review Corner, I feel inspired to write more of a personal piece. Why? I have a sentimental history with the Myers-Briggs. Continue reading “Getting Personal: The Personality Brokers Book on the MBTI Inspires a Fun Look Back”

Morning Consult

On a Recent Morning Consult and New York Times Survey on Having/Not Having Children

The recent article, “Americans Are Having Fewer Babies. They Told Us Why,” discusses a new survey conducted by Morning Consult for The New York Times. It reports on survey results regarding why “young adults are having fewer children than their ideal number” as well as why they aren’t sure and why they don’t want them at all. Let’s take a brief look at the ‘aren’t sure’ and ‘don’t want them’ group of respondents. Continue reading “On a Recent Morning Consult and New York Times Survey on Having/Not Having Children”

World Population Day

World Population Day, 2018

Today is World Population Day 2018; it’s an annual event observed on July 11, and was founded to raise awareness of global population issues. The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989. It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987, approximately the date on which the world’s population reached five billion people.”  The Population Clock shows the world population increases in real time-the last I looked it was: Continue reading “World Population Day, 2018”

rates of childlessness

A Long-Range Glance at Rates of Childlessness

Pew Research Center has some hot off the press fertility statistics. In addition to figures relating to motherhood postponement and average numbers of children, the data include “rates of childlessness” from many countries. The reported numbers inspired me to review statistics from the past to get a feel for more of a longer range picture. Continue reading “A Long-Range Glance at Rates of Childlessness”


On RBG, and a Final Frontier for Equal Treatment

The new documentary on Ruth Bader Ginsburg, RBG, is a must-see.  As The Economist piece, “How Ruth Bader Ginsburg became a trailblazer for gender equality” summarizes, this film gives us a real feel for how “Ms. Ginsburg built America’s gender equality standards brick by brick,” and “the quieter parts of this remarkable justice’s life.” Continue reading “On RBG, and a Final Frontier for Equal Treatment”