U.S. Census Fertility Pattern Data Part II

Here’s more from the U.S. Census newly released report, “Fertility of American Women.”  Data was collected from three million households in 2008.

My last post spoke to data on women with no children.  Here are some numbers I found interesting regarding women who are having children in our country:

How many children do women have in their childbearing years?

From the report, “Women near the end of their childbearing years, 40 to 44 years old as of June 2008, had an average of 1.9 children. In 1976, the average for women in the same age group was 3.1 children.  This shift in the average number of children ever born reflects the decline in the number of women having higher order births (three or more children) over the past 3 decades from 59 percent in 1976 to 28 percent in 2008. ”

On teen births—trending down in the last decade: In 2008, the fertility rate for women aged 15-19 was 29 per 1000 women; in 2000 it was 41 per 1000.

Peak childbearing ages:  25 to 29 years old

Disturbing: 20% of women ages 15 to 50 years old living in the United States and who had a baby in the last year (in 2008 that is) were born in another country.  ¾ of those born in another country were not citizens of the United States (or said another way, 15 percent of all women with a birth in the last year were not U.S. citizens).

Disturbing as well— On socioeconomic status–One-in-four mothers with a recent birth in 2008 was in poverty.  Only 6% of these new mothers received public assistance.

Where are the poor (and less educated) mothers? Montana, West Virginia, and the southern tier from Arizona to South Carolina had higher than average of women living in poverty with a birth in the last year (in 2008).

Higher levels of family income still generally means fewer children: Family incomes of $10,000 to $14,999 had a fer­tility rate of 104 births per 1,000–twice as high as women with family incomes of $100,000 or more (50 births per 1000).

On education— More education continues to trend toward fewer children: women with a graduate or professional degree were ending their childbearing years with an average of 1.6 births, almost one child fewer than women who were not high school graduates (2.4 births).

These numbers are some I found particularly informative, and the poverty and illegal immigrant channels gave me pause. What I don’t find in the report that would be interesting is –are the one in four poor mothers likely to be the ones who are illegal immigrants?

Have other fertility pattern questions? Ask me and I will comb the report, or you can view it at:

http://www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/p20-563.pdf

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