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November 10th, 2010
04:15 PM ET

Why is number of childless women at all-time high?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The number of American women without children is at an all-time high.

A recent report by the Pew Research center shows one in five women between the ages of 40 and 44 were childless in 2008 - that's an 80 percent increase from the 1970s.

This is a phenomenon that's being seen across all racial and ethnic groups, and most education levels. White women are the most likely not to have children; but childless rates are growing more quickly for blacks, Hispanics and Asians over the last decade.

Researchers say part of the reason behind all this is people are waiting longer to get married and have kids.

Experts tell AOL Health that people are freer and enjoying their lives more - doing things like traveling, shopping and eating out. All of which are much easier to do without a baby in the picture.

They also say many women are delaying getting pregnant because they can't find someone they want to have a child with - they're either very picky or very educated.

Also in the last 30 years, contraception has gotten better and there are improved job opportunities for women. Research shows there's less pressure from society now to be a mom, and the decision to have a child is seen as an individual choice.

And don't forget about money. Especially in tough economic times like these and with high unemployment, many people may feel they're not in the financial position to have children.

Here’s my question to you: Why is the number of childless women at an all-time high?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Chris in Ohio writes:
Well, Jack, a lot of things have changed since you were a kid during the Hoover administration. Women actually have careers of their own now and can't wait for immature 30-year-old men - who play video games all day and think Jackass 3D was awesome - to help raise children. Why raise a child and husband at the same time? More power to them. Leave it to Beaver was a long time ago.

Joseph in California writes:
I know a number of women who have decided not to have children because they believe this country is no longer a good place to bring up children. A collapsed economy, endless wars, the disappearing middle class as the upper 2% get wealthier. Doesn't take a rocket science to see their point.

Sharon writes:
Women are realizing the power within us and due to the insanity in society today we are beginning to use it and teach it to our girls! When my mom grew up, they were told: find a good man and settle down. When I was growing up, we were told: go to school and then find a good man. Now I am telling my daughter as she grows up: go to school, start a business, buy a home and then let the good man find you!

Melissa writes:
I'm 34 years old and I don't see my husband and me ever having children unless it's an accident. We're both too selfish, and love our freedom too much for kids. I like the ability to come and go as I please and do what I want when I want to do it. You can't do that with kids.

Tom writes:
Because the educational levels of women are at an all-time high.

Dick writes:
4 years of Carter, 8 years of Reagan, 4 years of Bush I, 8 years of Clinton, 8 years of Bush II and 2 years of Obama, would be more than enough to scare any woman out of starting a next generation.

Jeff in Bishop, Georgia writes:
They're probably all depressed that I am married and unavailable to be the father of their rug-rats.


Filed under: Children
soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. Christina Saenz

    Marriage is less of a stable institution for women so children are less likely to be born. In a bad economy, people are careful about becoming pregnant which would be an added expense of a child. Finally, we have made getting birth control and abortions easier and cheaper.

    November 10, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  2. B.J., Quincy, Il

    Because of the economy, women are thinking more about careers than being mothers. Money is needed to run a household, raising a child cost money,you weigh it out.

    November 10, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  3. JD from Jersey

    Come on, Jack, we all know that as we progress in time we start to lose parts of life that are important. A good example would be your hair.

    November 10, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  4. Annie D.

    Who can afford children?

    November 10, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  5. steve in fl

    My pastor says it because of gay marriage. lol

    November 10, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    Surely you jest. We are in the midst of the biggest baby boom since WW 2.

    If there is anything we DON'T need, it is MORE babies!

    We are overpopulating the planet to the point of extinction, of all, from our environmental destruction.

    November 10, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  7. Conor in Chicago

    Because raising children in the modern world is economic suicide. Gone are the days where need children to run the farm and take care of us as we get older. I'm in my early 30's and I can tell you first hand that when I want to go out on a Friday or Saturday I don't even bother calling my friends that have kids. Not because they can't find a sitter, but because they can't afford to even go out for one night and drop say $50 on a good time. I will never have kids, period. There's too many of us anyways.

    November 10, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
  8. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Too much fast food, careers, not wanting to have to care for their children alone after marrying Mr Wrong, (and not acknowledging it was her choice). And realizing, after seeing children screaming without a parent around, that that wasn't a path they wanted to walk down.

    November 10, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  9. Chandra in Las Vegas, NV

    As a childless woman by choice, I had the experience of seeing how my nieces and nephews were growing up and to this day I do not regret not having children, they seem to be a bit more spoiled and self entitled these days and don't seem to have any ambition to work hard to get ahead in life.

    November 10, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
  10. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Women are smarter than men and stronger as well. I always knew this but never would admit it. Why would any smart person want to bring a child into a society like ours today and see them go off to war or starve because of the lack of food.

    November 10, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  11. Christian A.

    Who would in their right minds want to have kids this day and age?

    I'm a young professional and my wife and I have opted out on having children and I see more of the same happening because:

    1. Both parents have to spend more time at work.
    2. Having a child cost more now than ever.
    3. Their is a liberation movement going on of people who want more for themselves then spend their small amount of time and money on a child.

    November 10, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  12. JackieinDallas

    Oh, Jack. What an inane question! Women, being more realistic and thinking in longer terms than men, have realized that the future is pretty cloudy, and don't want to be tied down for 20 years or give children the mess we've created!

    November 10, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  13. Brian, Baton Rouge

    In the "old days," a man could support his family on his income alone. That family could afford a house, two cars (thus the famous "two car garage"), and summer vacations to the Grand Canyon.

    But starting with the "Reagan Revolution," median salaries have stagnated as most of the country's wealth has concentrated in the hands of the top 1%. This is the biggest income inequality since the Great Depression, and is similar to many banana republics.

    And it has forced women into the workplace, because now families need two incomes just to get by.

    So the reason the number of childless women is at an all-time high is because families don't have the time or money to have kids, unless they're wealthy, or very poor and get additional welfare for every child they have. The middle class, though, is just stretched too thin.

    November 10, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  14. Janne from NC

    Because my friend we are getting smarter and smarter.

    November 10, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  15. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    Who can afford a kid?

    November 10, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  16. Pete from Georgia

    Why ??
    Women's Liberation.
    Being a mother is one of the toughest jobs in life, and one of the most rewarding.
    Young people today cannot cope with nor will they ever seek RESPONSIBILITY. It terrifies them.
    If they can't hold something with one hand...............and text with it, they want NOTHING to do with it.

    November 10, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  17. Gary H. Boyd

    Ever since they got the right to vote, American women have been expanding their boundaries Now they're wanting autonomy from the burdens of child bearing Next thing ya know, they'll want to run for President. Clearly, the genie's out of the bottle Jack.

    November 10, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  18. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Simple Jack. It is called better and readily available forms of birth control. I mean there is no lack of sex going on in the world so that only leaves one other thing and that is birth control.

    November 10, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  19. southerncousin

    The are all scared that one of them will grow up to be President of the United States.

    November 10, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  20. diana

    Who can afford children. My daughter, who is 31, wants a child very badly, however, she realizes she can't afford one. She is single and knows her only income is hers. A child is an 18 year commitment and sometime longer.

    November 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  21. Bruce Bend OR

    They've passed that baton. From what I see in public places it seems that aliens have included procreation as one of the "jobs that Americans don't want to do," and they do it very well.

    November 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  22. Gary H. Boyd

    Ever since they got the right to vote, American women have been expanding their boundaries - pushing for more. Equal pay for equal work, calling the shots just like the guys and now they're wanting autonomy from child bearing. Next thing ya know one of 'em will want to run for President. Clearly, the genie's out of the bottle Jack. Bah–bah-bah.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    November 10, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  23. Greg, Ontario

    Not all women want to have babies and live off welfare. I think most are taking care of their careers before they think about motherhood and that is a good thing.

    November 10, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  24. David in Raleigh, NC

    Women are focused on career more than the biological reason of procreation that god created women for.

    November 10, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  25. Joe CE

    Has some to do with birth control technology but it is mostly the economy stupid.

    November 10, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  26. Loren

    Have you met the men in this country? The children? Why would a woman want to get married and have children? On the other hand, the probably cause, feminism, comes with a cost – indecision, which results in too late: too late to attract a husband, too late to have children, too late to realize working is no fun and not fulfilling. European cultural values meet America. America meet a lower birthrate (among those who consider themselves educated).

    November 10, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  27. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Simple Jack, they don't want children, to some it wold be just another mouth to feed and worry about trying to raise a child in a world that is headed in a downward spiral.

    November 10, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  28. Carla Martin-Wood

    Hormones given to cattle, pesticides, chemicals in everything from the water we drink to the foods we eat, preservatives, medications for which no one can guarantee the ultimate effects - the list is endless. We don't have to wait for a comet to wipe us out or the sun to go boom - we've created our own method of extinction.

    November 10, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  29. Peg from N.Y.

    People no longer feel as comfortable having a family during these difficult economic times.

    November 10, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  30. Mark, OKC

    Have you been around any of today's kids lately, Jack?

    November 10, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  31. explainer

    There are many reasons, the top two being:
    1. Considering the state of the male ego today, why bother.
    2. What's the hurry? Besides, since most men are such trolls, adoption may be the best alternative.

    Las Cruces, NM

    November 10, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  32. Gerry

    Women are more independent now and with a 50% failure rate for marriages your chances of being a single parent are pretty good. Too, when the politicians legislated parents out of the parenting business women are fighting a losing battle.

    Gerry
    Ash Fork, Az

    November 10, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  33. Jane in CA

    Having children is an optimistic choice. I would guess that women who have a choice aren't feeling optimistic about the future.

    November 10, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  34. Jerry - Toronto

    Four possible answers Jack,

    1) There is something in the water.

    2) Not enough good men out there.

    3) The cost of raising a child is at an all time high!

    4) All the women are too busy working or trying to find work (in this economy).

    I was only planing on four but what the heck. 5) It`s President Obama's fault. Seems everyone is now trying to pin him with all Bush Jr`s mess so we may as well add this to the pile. Obama is to blame for everything, just ask a republican. The list is endless.

    OK, I`m going to take a nap now, I`m exhausted pointing my finger.

    November 10, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  35. Toni

    A lot of women are trying to go to college and have a career for themselves. Some have very demanding jobs and have no time to raise a family. That is what I did and I am childless. The fun part about being childless is that you can spoil you nieces and nephews and then, give them back to their parents!

    South Carolina

    November 10, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  36. Toni

    A lot of women are trying to go to college and have a career for themselves. Some have very demanding jobs and have no time to raise a family. That is what I did and I am childless. The fun part about being childless is that you can spoil your nieces and nephews and then, give them back to their parents!

    South Carolina

    November 10, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  37. Jane (Minnesota)

    I'm one of them, Jack and for me, my career was more important to me than marriage and children when I got out of college. I would imagine that has a lot to do with it. I have adopted homeless animals that I often refer to as my "fur children". They bring a lot of joy to me.

    November 10, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
  38. Paul Austin,Texas

    It just may be that many women are to smart to bring children into a world of such uncertianty. They are now 51% of our population and just may become the best thinkers and future leaders of our country. After all they just may do better than the couple of hundred years the males have been in full power maybe it is time for their turn.

    November 10, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  39. QUEEN (Utah)

    Jack, I live in Utah and they pop them out like rabbits. I'm the only one in my circle that don't have kids and I'm 24. You need to a include except Utah at the end of the question because all I see around me is day care centers...

    November 10, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  40. Jim in Alabama

    That one is easy Jack. This country's morals and family values "tanked" long ago. Between a rash of teen pregnancies and a trend of women wanting children without getting married or having a husband, you have your answer. Anyone can debate the causes, but there's no doubt that economics has certainly played a role in this catastrophe, but the bottom line is apparently many young males think it's cute or manly to father a child and then take a powder. Perhaps a stern curfew, strick parental discipline, a parent at home and some good ole home education would help this situation. However, given the current morals of many of these parents, I doubt it.

    November 10, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  41. Ed from California

    Because women are finally waking up, and they realize that children are very expensive and consume at lot of time. And you can't capture that "ideal" man with having his child. Most of my daughters women friends are divorced or single with two of three kids and no responsible man in sight. And most of her friends are having a tough time making ends meet on a single income.

    A lot of her friends are "happy" that my daughter went to college, and at the very least has a decent job and doesn't have to rely on some high school drop-out to help her raise their kids. Children are the greatest gift you can receive and it's takes both parents to raise them.

    Our biggest problem (my opinion) in this country is the high school drop-out rate. How can you even expect to get a good job without a high school diploma, or at the very least a College AA degree.

    November 10, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  42. JENNA

    Why is the number of childless women at an all-time high?

    Because men refuse to act like men and marry these women so that they can have families.

    Who wants a child out of wedlock with no support? It's not like all of them would end up with a gig on Dances With The Stars like Bristol Palin did.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    November 10, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  43. Bizz Quarryville Pennsylvania

    There are a lot of women who have careers and don't want to take time off from their jobs. Another reason might be they don't have a job or the one they do have is questionable. The immediate future of America right now looks bleak. There's no money for college. The schools are in shambles without of date equipment. We rank at the bottom of the list in education we provide for our children. Unless you are rich or a member of Congress who would want to bring a child into the world at this time.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  44. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    Many reasons. Birth control tops the list. Women are not at the mercy of their reproductive cycle as they were prior to "the pill".

    But other things may be part of the reason. Some may hear all the talk about global warming and overpopulation and think it is just not a good idea to bring another child into a world with finite resources. Others may fear that wars will become so prevalent that the future is bleak.

    Others may want to have a longer period of adult life without the responsibility of children. Maybe they just want to party a little longer and think it is better to do it before they decide to have kids. We see more women in their 30s and 40s having first children, so some may think it is OK to wait.

    And of course there is always the chance that some women just don't LIKE children and don't want any, and since they now have a choice they are deciding not to even get pregnant.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  45. Kevin in CA

    Because the tax deduction sucks!

    November 10, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  46. Brian (From Chicago)

    Because women have a choice Jack. Some women can't have children. But a lot of women in today's society are single professional women and choose not to have a child with a less desirable mate. More women are gay today than ever before, and prefer not to have children. And finally yes, I know what your hitting at Jack, more women are not going through with unwanted pregnacies....rape, incest, personal choice or whatever. And all women should defend that right to choose if they want to have an unwanted pregnacy or not.

    I think late term abortions are unacceptable unless the health of the mother is at risk (after 3 months), however, women are choosing not to bring more children into this cruel world.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  47. john ....... marlton, nj

    Maybe it's the smartest women that are childless because they realize what's in store for a child that is brought into this world. Crappy education, burdened for life to pay for the do-nothings, yada yada.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  48. bud rupert

    2 reasons Jack:

    1. Woman want to work or half to work.
    2. They saw how miserable their parents were and have decided. I think not

    November 10, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  49. LaVon (Hemet, CA)

    Probably because bringing a kid into this world during these troubling times along with the prospect of a dismal, debt-ridden future would be akin to child abuse...

    November 10, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  50. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    Looks like spurious conclusions on the part of Pew Research. The numbers are probably OK but the motivation driving the numbers as given by the Pew people is totally wrong. We no longer live in a society where one income in and of itself can support the typical American family. The economic impact of one child on a family is staggering. Today's families can no longer survive with any kind of comfort level and simultaneously meet the needs of a growing family. This is the new America.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  51. Dave, Orlando, FL

    I’d like to think it is responsible behavior in trying to slow the continuous population explosion that has been going on for the last five decades. But it is more likely that few people can afford children. Instead they must work and are afraid they’d be fired if they had to take a few days off to deliver a child. Considering the high cost of medical care, the high cost of raising children and the prohibitively high cost of educating them, that makes two good enough reasons.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  52. Dick B

    4 years of Carter, 8 years of Reagan, 4 years of Bush I, 8 years of Clinton, 8 years of Bush II and 2 years of Obama, would be more than enough to scare any woman out of starting a next generation.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  53. Jim

    Jack,

    You answered your own question with all the points you made. More women are working and in professions/careers, they're more educated and pickier about who to marry, getting married older and having kids later in life, and using better contraception because they don't want an accident, and are thinking about the financial resposibility along with the personal responsibility for raising a child.

    Good for them. They don't have to be baby machines anymore. And that is what I'll tell my young daughter too.

    Jim in Denver, CO

    November 10, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  54. Greg in Mechanicsburg

    Money, lifestyle, education, you hit them all, Jack. Have you taken a look at the meat market lately? There are slim pickings.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  55. Kim Smith

    Did any of the experts mention that the legal ramifications for men if they father a child is a huge deterrant? Unless a man is fabulously wealthy, or himself a lawyer, the heavily biased child support laws be sure to lower your libido once your impending divorce is final.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  56. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, because woman are smart enough to fear the future they are looking at right now. Who, in their right mind, would want to bring childern into a world/country on the verge of collapsing under it's own weight? Until this crisis of confidence is reversed, families who have a choice will hold back, and dream of a time when they can look forward to something besides the impending disastors of a broken economy, a broken government, and a broken country.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  57. Joanie

    Think it might have to do with they "future" looks bleak. When you have a Congress that spends 5 Trillion Dollars in 4 yrs and our nat'l debt is almost 14 Trillion.
    Joanie
    Wi

    November 10, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  58. Ken in Maryland

    One other reason you didn't mention – society. It used to be unheard of for a woman not to have or want children. It was her "duty." Now, women are freer to make choices for themselves. The social stigma of not having kids is reduced.

    That's OK. The population growth on this planet could use a break.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  59. Randy

    Easy. The number of jobless men at all-time high.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  60. Ed's Kate

    That is their business, not mine, yours or anyone else.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  61. John from San Antonio

    Even for the people who don't realize we are entering a very turbulant chaotic and dangerous period in history, they sense it, and do not wish to bring any more children into it.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  62. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    Didn't you just answer your own question?

    November 10, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  63. Rod / Chicago

    Free abortion on demand.

    November 10, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  64. Curt from Avon, Indiana

    Jack, it all boils down to Corvettes or children. If you don't have kids you can have a Corvette. If you have kids they are going to be with you until you die. They think they deserve perpetual care even though you have put them through college and graduate school. So you can drive a Corvette or you can support your "basement boy" forever and ever...

    November 10, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  65. Kim in Tx

    There is still plenty of women that are willing to have more children that they can take care of....

    November 10, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  66. Anthony from Swedesboro, NJ

    It's a mix of religious anti-abortion zeal, Sarah Palin's daughter, and lousy parenting in the poor neighborhoods. The conservatives are continually banging the drum of no abortion for any reason and parents are loosing touch with their teens. Catholicism teaches that all birth control is evil no matter that the lack of it produces more pregnancies in uninformed and young women. Religion and stupidity will continue to prevent intelligent decisions in this regard.

    November 10, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  67. Griff

    "You said it all, Jack. Contraception, contraception, contraception. This is why free-medical help for the younger people, is worth it in the long run."

    November 10, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  68. Melissa

    I'm 34 years old and I don't see my husband and I ever having children unless its an accident. We're both too selfish, and love our freedom too much for kids. I like the ability to come and go as I please and do what I want when I want to do it. You can't do that with kids. So why? Because we have the freedom to choose.

    November 10, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  69. Jan, Idaho Falls, Idaho

    More women are childress because they are smart. In this day and age, women don't want to be barefoot and pregnant and have 19 kids. They want fun, fun,fun and you can;'t have fun with a bawling baby on your shoulder. Have y ou ever been in a restaurant trying to enjoy a meal with a screeching kid at the next table or have an unsupervised kid kick the back of your seat in an airplane. Why don't we want kids–what do you think!!!!

    November 10, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  70. Perskaya

    As is typical, the women incapable of having kids are left out of the mix.

    Not everyone can have kids, and due to increased issues with allergies and intolerances, as well as weight-related problems, more and more women are simply incapable of having kids.

    November 10, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  71. AB

    I think the reasons for the high rate of childless women are the following:
    * Child rearing has become increasing difficult in today's society
    * The social and economic conditions within American society are no longer conducive to women having children–It literally takes a village to raise a child and women with children get no help with the endeavor.
    * The high divorce rate and singletude leave many women alone without the requisite social and economic supports from men to raise children.
    * Many single women have jobs/careers that are extremely demanding and preclude the opportunity to have and rear children.
    * American society neither values nor invest in women and families. The pursuits of business careers and profit are top priorities for the nation.

    November 10, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  72. will from Co.

    Hello Jack,

    From all of the information you put out, telling why women are not having children. I didn’t see anything about there is more women than men in the U.S.A.

    November 10, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  73. Bob in Tampa, Fl

    I think the "Spooky Man" is scaring our women.

    November 10, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  74. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Jack:

    You ask this question as if it's a bad thing"?!

    November 10, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  75. gerald

    Because of the media induced crises that have women on edge. Fear of the future stunts population growth.
    Dallas Tx

    November 10, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  76. Steve, Clifton, VA

    It seems that we lost our way as Men and Women and have placed too much energy into being equal...

    November 10, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  77. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Selfishness

    November 10, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  78. Patricia ID

    Women are marrying later or not at all and that drops fertility rates. Duh.

    Boise

    November 10, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  79. Jeff In Minnesota

    The old stereotype of a woman only being satisfied was if they got married and raised a family has been smashed and replaced with one that a woman can be satisfied with whatever she decides to do with her life. While that is great for women in our nation it is not so great for our economy. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlements were all predicated on the population continuing to increase. As a result of the population not increasing in a proper proportion, we can not afford some of these programs without placing more load on those coming up through the working ranks. Where have our leaders been? They are supposed to be on top of these sorts of issues. It's not like you couldn't see this one coming. Oh yeah, they've been kicking this can down the road as well so that someone else can deal with it. Well guess what? If we keep taking that approach, it's just going to get more and more expensive until we can no longer afford it. Surprise!

    November 10, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  80. Michael Rogals Vermont

    Jack I have two daughters and a son, not one of them would like to have children. They say that this world is going to die one way or another and they could never live with themseleves knowing that they would be putting loved ones in a situation like that. Knowing what I do now, after the gov. brainwashing of the sixties and seventies has warn off I too would not have had children and I love them dearly.

    November 10, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  81. Chris from Ohio

    well Jack a lot of things have changed since you were a kid during the Hoover adminastation, but women acttualy have careers of there own and can't wait for immature 30 year old men who play video games all day and think Jackass 3D was awsome to help raise children, why raise a child and Husband at the same time. more power to them. Leave it to Beaver was along time ago.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  82. JackieinDallas

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Oh, Jack. What an inane question! Women, being more realistic and thinking in longer terms than men, have realized that the future is pretty cloudy, and don't want to be tied down for 20 years, Nor do they want to give their children the mess we've created!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  83. Susan from Idaho

    The same reason it was high in the 1930's Why have have when you can't afford em?

    November 10, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  84. Gigi Oregon

    If I was a young women today I would think twice and think again. Any child born today will be paying off the Republican 2000/08 debt. And probably their parents student loan debt. There are somethings you can't bankrupt..

    November 10, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  85. Jim Blevins

    Do you think that it might have something to do with there being too many people on Earth for the Earth to continue supporting?

    Jim, Craig, CO

    November 10, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  86. Doug Smith

    Who in their right mind would want to raise kids in a world like this?

    November 10, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  87. Nallsie

    The more important question to society is why are so many minority women and girls having babies without committed partners?????

    November 10, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  88. James H.

    Interesting question Jack.

    Why are childless women at an all-time high?

    Because men invented birth control?

    November 10, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  89. Joseph Kraatz, Oceanside, CA

    I know a number of women who have decided not to have children because they believe this country is no longer a good place to bring up children. A collapsed economy, endless wars, the disappearing middle class as the upper 2% get wealthier. Doesn't take a rocket science to see their point.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  90. Jorge

    I would venture to guess that there are more homosexual women now than there were in 1970. I would be interested to find out how this would fit into the statistics that you mentioned.

    -Jorge (Newark,NJ)

    November 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  91. Linda in Arizona

    I'm still trying to figure out why you scrubbed my reply to the "miss bush?" question. Was it the word "damned"? Goodness, churchladies, sorry to offend. As for this question, as long as they stop breeding and overpopulating the planet, I don't CARE why.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  92. Tom McGrath

    Because the educational levels of women are at an all time high.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  93. DIANE

    Being a mother is a sacrificial role and women have other options now...thanks to our freedom. Family is very important, but a mother is unique and someone who truly sacrifices her desires and needs for her family. Happy mothers are a rare breed...and, economics cause husband and wives to think differently. Just my opinion.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  94. Becky - Las Vegas

    Jack, If the women like me they see that others have taken the religious command to "go forth a populate" a bit too seriously. Just look at the Octomom, the Duggards, John & Kate etc. etc. No really, Jack. I'm just scared senseless because my mom used to tell me to "wait until I had kids." OMG, if they're going to be worse than me? I wanted NO part of that.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  95. Kate G-H

    Although a young woman who believes in equal rights, ever since the woman's liberation movement we have been expected to get a 9 to 5 job along with the boys... The result? Less time for kids- a travesty in my opinion.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  96. Adrienne

    I think it is a combination of factors. I believe that money and the economy are a big part of it, as well as birth control. This is good because women are making smart decisions about their future. However, another part of this, I think, is that there seem to be less decent, single men available who want to make commitments these days. I am not surprised by the study results at all.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  97. Quenton

    Freedom,Finances and just plan not ready. Most men are not grown up yet. I'M a man under 40 and single, Not planning on it, but wouldn't mind someone special having my child (not just anyone)

    November 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  98. Warren in Ohio

    Because we do not put our money where our mouth is. Despite all the talk about leaving no child behind and family values, there is hardly any public policy supporting families with children. No paid maternity leaves; no paid family leaves; no family allowances; no universal health care for kids. And besides moms are paid less than single women. Uncle Sam should be charged with child abandonment.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  99. Roswell

    It's because there aren't enough employed, sane males with whom to mate.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  100. Sharon

    Women are realizing the power within us and due to the insanity in society today we are beginning to use it and teach it to our girls! When my mom grew up they were told....find a good man and settle down. When I was growing up we were told, go to school and then find a good man. Now I am telling my daughter as she grows up, go to school, start a business, buy a home and then let the good man find you!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  101. Lisa - FL

    I'm getting to the end of my child bearing window and have chosen not to make any children. In my opinion, it is rather selfish to make a child when there are so many already here that don't have someone to care for them. If I feel the need to be a mom, I will adopt a child who needs one. I just don't feel the need to make a mini-me.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  102. Ken in NC

    Could it be because fewer women are having babies Jack? Not a very good question to put to us. I always thought this is what society wanted. That being the case, there should be no alarms sounded about this.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  103. Robert L. Rice

    Jack:

    Since Roe v. Wade over 50 million children have been aborted in these United States. How many of these childless women aborted their children? Sure, contraception had something to do with it but 50 million babies. So much fo the pill!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  104. Keisha C.

    Jack, in the long list of reasons you mentioned when posing your question, Careers were left out. Women, such as myself, who have been dedicated to demanding careers often put off having children because we work long hours and weekends. Not to mention, that in having to work endlessly, it's harder for us career women to meet men who meet our standards with which to have children.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  105. Lori King

    Jack, I'm a 34 year old childless woman. There are lots of personal reasons (medical, financial, opportunity), but I've given this issue a lot of thought. I have met a lot of women who are childless, and totally by choice. It may be a strange concept, but I honestly think it may be a built in mother-nature failsafe. I think this planet is over-populated enough. Could it be that its a natural genetic switch, telling females on the planet to lay off for awhile? I remember learning about plagues on the plant over years of civilization, and how the resulting deaths (although horrible) successfully dropped human population numbers into acceptable ranges for survival. What do you think?

    November 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  106. Shane

    People have children for one of three reasons:
    1) They had a good childhood themselves, have a great family support group, and want to continue the tradition
    2) For reasons of peer pressure or to please their parents
    3) The pregnancy was an accident

    The number of people who fall under one of these categories is decreasing because of
    1) The number of dysfunctional families is increasing, with fewer people having fond memories of childhood and a support group
    2) People are more concerned with their own welfare in these tough economic times, and do not consider peer pressure or their parents' desire for grandchildren
    3) People are more educated about contraception and the disadvantages of unintended pregnancy

    November 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  107. James Mcghin

    I think another factor is that women are trying to have children at a later age and some find out unfortunately it is more difficult to get pregnant when older. Fertility clinics are doing a brisk business these days but not all are successful. This I believe is contributing to the childless rate for women over 40.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  108. Frank

    Its because the States are on witch hunts for child abuse and removing children from good loving homes. They only have to have one person call in and say something true or not and they are right out there to take the child and there's big money in doing it. They take the child force child support of 4 or 5 hundred dollars and then the child rarely if ever sees ANY of it in the form of needs. It lines the pockets of the foster homes a lot of which aren't as good as the home they were removed from. I loved my kids and was treated as above!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  109. Debbie in Charleston

    Women are deciding to forego having children because so many women whose children are grown and gone have told us that if they had to do it all over again, they either wouldn't have kids or would have fewer. I got married in 1973 and I was in a very small minority who chose to be childless. My husband and I were able to retire in our early 50s and life has been a lot more fun than the lives of my friends that have kids. Had birth control methods been better decades ago, women would have made the same choice as women today.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  110. M.L.L.

    If women wait until they're older, for any reason including work, travel, school, or simply enjoying life, it's harder to find a partner who is ready, willing and able. And the idea of ravaging your body, experiencing sleepless nights for at least a year, no alcohol for a year or more if you're breast-feeding, and having to pay for it and go through it ALL ALONE is not an easy sell. After all, if you wanted to struggle that much you might as well have had a child when you were younger and likely had less income. Tough call.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  111. Chris Jones

    Bisephonal in the plastic bottles, pharmauceticals running off into the water supply, polluted air, consuming GMO foods, eating MSG, High Fructose corn syrup, aspartame, the list goes on... All these are real environmental problems that are causing this. Many of the foods we eat, beauty care products we use, and more are all filled with toxins and chemicals that are damaging humans. Hence why this problem is seen over every racial/social/economic group.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  112. Berylene Rogers

    Jack, Do you really have to ask? Air and water pollution, global warming, world-wide overpopulation, terrorism, rich get richer at expense of middle class, working classes sinking further into poverty, inability of our politicians to govern. If I were child-bearing age, I would never, never, never bring another child into this world.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  113. Markeis Mccray

    Markeis (Houston) Times have changed due to industrialization. In the older days the more kids you had the more hands you had available for farming task. It is great to see women come from behind the apron and get behind a desk or fight side by side with their sisters and brothers in arms. Women have definitely added to the male dominated work space and I hope they continue.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  114. Dennis north Carolina

    cost too much????????????????

    November 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  115. Lamar

    Get serious Jack. Would you want to bring a child into this world with him/her facing a million dollar debt?

    November 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  116. Shelley

    More women are waiting for several reasons.

    More men are in jail making it harder to find a good guy
    Increase in gay/lesbian
    Women sometime make more
    Just waiting until late 30 early 40's to live life

    Shelley
    in Atlanta

    November 10, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  117. Tony

    Maybe people are just plain afraid to bring children into such a fragile and dangerous world. But I guess that could have always been the case.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  118. Carol, Washington

    I decided before I was out of my teens that I have no maternal instinct whatsoever and did not want to deal with a mewling, puking, stinky brat. By that time it was easy to avoid becoming pregnant. so I took advantage of "modern chemistry". I feel lucky to have lived during a time when I had choices!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  119. Ethan

    Well its a good indication that women (and couples) are being smart about having a child. Having a child is an amazing gift from GOD and requires lots of attention and sacrifice.

    In reality, today's women is not as selfless to sit home, raise kids, cook dinner, and be a house wife. Its an ever changing society where women desire to become CEOs and wear the pants at home.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  120. Melissa

    First, my generation., Generation X'rs, were raised with the mindset to focus on career first then family. Many of my friends waited till their 30's to start a serious relationship. In addition, there are so many relationship opportunities for men and women today–the ease of travel has opened the door for men and women to meet people in other parts of the world. You also have Facebook and all of those dating sites which is bringing a new complexity to commitment. I'm married, yet, I've been hit on by various people on Facebook. Too many options and a sense of no boundaries is what relationships are faced with.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  121. Nate

    Jack,

    Three words March-Madness Vasectomy Bonanza. I had one at age 26 after my wife and I agreed we are not interested in the gigantic responsibility of raising children the right way. Smart people opt out of parenthood, the rest are creating our "Idiocracy" future.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  122. Irving

    You should be celebrating the reduction in child births in the US. This planet is being destroyed by 6.8 billion people and this situation must be addressed. i hate to pull the math card on the intellectually challenged, but the population increases exponentially and our fixes are linear. Basically, you can't fix the problems of over-population because the increasing population quickly overwhelms any solutions. Please stop presenting population reduction as a problem, it is a solution to our problems. In fact, it is the only solution.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  123. Beth from Oregon

    I am 33 yrs old and have been married for 2 years. I have never wanted children. When I got married everyone I know was shocked that we decided not to have babies. Our decision seems to be at odds with the status quo that you are supposed to get married, have babies, etc....
    I know many women who don't want children for many reasons that mirror mine, for example we agree that kids are expensive, loud, dirty, a burden and simply not an option. I don't hate kids but I don't want any of my own.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  124. mine from texas

    In some cases it is not by choice , Jack, Studies have also shown the rise in the rate of infertility. I was one of them. Various factors in our environment have been brought this about.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  125. Mounir from st paul, MN

    i guess they dont their child born into a system where they have to be at age 69 before getting social security...

    November 10, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  126. Lynn Oshkosh WI

    I know many many professional women who have one child and would LOVE to have another. The reason they don't is because the cost of quality child care is prohibitive. My daughter is the mother of one – the ONLY reason she doesn't have another is the cost of care. $1300 -$1500 a month for infant care is not a "drop in the bucket". I realize that child care professionals deserve a decent salary; however "paying for two" is impossible financially.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  127. Margaret

    Jack, Its obvious. Women have finally wized up on a number of issues, including the value of men.Ask another question please; are men upset by this statistic? Now that could really be informative.
    Margaret, New York

    November 10, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  128. Fanny from Ga.

    Jack,
    I am one of the 20% you are talking about. Are you kidding? in this economy I can barely feed myself much less bring more mouths to feed. I am single and college graduate. I don't think that makes me very educated. As to the picky,what am I supposed to do? Marry the first guy who came along? That would just be shifting my box from single to divorced. Being Catholic, that is a whole lot to explain to my devout parents. Any way the world has 6 Billion people who are populating it. It does not need my contribution.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  129. Andy

    well that's an easy question. there are a lot of answers to that questions but some of the largest factors, finincial crisis of the U.S., the environment conditions. even if the white house fixes the finincial crisis what's the point? the environment is going to be like hell then. No wonder why everyone is spreading rumors about the world ending.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  130. Ky Mankind

    Because more women are focusing more on their carriers and have unreasonable expectations of meeting perfect men, i.e. men with unlimited riches or celebrity, and excellent looks too.. Love is no longer blind. It now has compound eyes.
    Ky from PA

    November 10, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  131. tasha

    I always said I would have kids after I got married! But now it is money and education in the public school system that makes me scared to have children. My husband feels the same way about it. We want children but with the economy, it puts the fear of god in us!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  132. Christina in Fremont, CA

    I think the main reasons are education and real estate. We've lived in New York, LA and now the Bay area and I gotta tell you our public schools stink. Affording private school and a house is a financial conundrum. We finally just plunged our head in the sand and had kids anyway. Our oldest will start kindergarten next year and we haven't solved this riddle yet.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  133. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Our "basic needs" economy has been shipped overseas. Middle class incomes have not kept up with increasing basic costs of living, resulting in many women losing the option of choice. The days of the stay-at-home wife glamorized by the Cleavers and the Nelsons have long ago vanished. Entry-level wage scales won't pay the mortgage.... Now, they must work longer before they have children.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  134. JLW in Colorado

    The reason I did not have children is that I'm very concerned about overpopulation. The population has grown from 2.5 billion when I was born to over 6.5 billion now. Unfortunately, half of today's population lives on less than $2 per day.

    I believe it's wonderful that fewer women are feeling pressure to have children. It is an option. An option no one should feel pressure to take since we have more children born in the world than we can take care of now.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  135. jim

    Its' simple jack, women are the thinkers of our species, they are the ones that pay attention to the details of life, they are the half of this species that actually has an intuitive perspective toward the advancment of life. If it was up to men we would have more babies and simply eat our young to survive. Heck Jack, most of us men are barely aware that there are little people living in our homes. It's like the inbreeding of dogs Jack, eventually the quality of the species will decline into disease and decay. Women are simply using there intuitive perception to come to the realization that over population is a one way street to the degridation of the species and they are taking it upon themselves to slow the process of over population in order that the species will survive in a healthy productive manner.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  136. Kristie

    Jack: Have you ever been annoyed by temper tantrum crying kids in a grocery store, plane, restaurant, etc. Some of us don't need all that plus lack of sleep, stress, 24/7 care, kids who are embarrassed by their parents and just want money, and who would ever want to be responsible for a hideous teenager. Instead, we women of today can and many of us do choose to become very educated, form our own businesses, travel, do charity work, do what we want when we want. It is a very, very nice life and we can hire people to care for us if we decide to be to be too old to care for ourselves one day. Parenthood should be a choice, not a requirement, ever. I'm so glad I never had kids – Age 53 – world traveler, owner of my own law practice, charity volunteer/fundraiser. Thanks for the great question. Thank goodness for birth control pills and sensible women who use them.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  137. Colin Attree

    Hi Jack,
    I believe the number of childless women is on the increase in many other parts os the western world for many of the reasons you mentioned. One factor you overlooked was the increase in infertility, particularly male infertilty, which seems to be related to modern life styles including the increase in oestrogen mimicking chemicals in the environment.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  138. Jim

    Jack,

    Women have thrown off the idea that the roles of wife and mother are the only proper ones to which they may aspire, and the nation is better for it. Some women are gifted mothers and they should have as many children as they want. Others are gifted with other talents and they should be free to pursue careers that exploit those talents without having to justify their life decisions to anyone.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    November 10, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  139. Barbara

    No one can speak for all "childless women."

    Birth control measures – of all sorts are available. The question is "do I really want to have kids and why?" Just because it is "expected?" I don't think most women feel that is a good enough reason anymore. Like what am I – a cow? I just have to breed because I am an animal and expected to? Many "potential" mothers ask themselves – do I really want to bring a new spirit into this very violent world?

    November 10, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  140. Bucky

    Are you kidding? I grew up in a family of 9 kids and I had to help with everything. I wish I had a dollar for every diaper I folded. I'm giving away my age! I saw motherhood as a total drudge and had absolutely no desire to have children. When I finally figured out that it could be an interesting experience and perhaps even fulfilling, it was too late. And I do not regret my decision. I had a friend who said, God made babies so cute so that when they are teenagers you won't kill them. There is no guarantee that your children will love you, take care of you or ever amount to anything-why bother?

    November 10, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  141. jamie, Springfield MA

    Hi Jack,
    My answer is : Freedom to pursuit our version of happiness.
    My husband and I have been happily married for 7 years and have no intention of having children. We love our freedom to live our lives, to run both of our businesses our way, to travel frequently, and to just sleep late when we'd like. Compared to our friends with childern, we are happier, less stressed and have more fun in life.
    Jamie, Springfield MA

    November 10, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  142. Kay Klein

    We give lip service to supporting mothers especially those who need to work outside the home. Limited maternity leave, higher health care costs and difficulty finding childcare not to mentioned that we are still paid only 88 cents for every $1 men make.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  143. Danyelle in Greenville, nc

    I think women are becoming smart and now realizing that a career means providing a service and getting paid for it to take care of yourself and your family and not getting paid to have children(welfare) and not let the tax payers pay for it.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  144. Jean-Pierre Breton

    Women enjoy being free to pursue a career , being financialy independant.

    They pospone indefinitely ... motherhood. and religious pressure is gone (no more moral obligation)

    Good for them!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  145. Barbara

    Because kids are a drag on everything! They insist that EVERYTHING is all about them. Have you ever met more than 4 that you would want to be yours. I haven't!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  146. Nichole

    I am a child-less 33-year old, and my main reasons for this is due to finances. I work as a contractor and do not feel that my partner and I are able to handle the financial responsibilities of a child at this time, which is unfortunate, because I would love to have children now.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  147. Philip Hebert

    Jack;
    You forgot one very important factor resulting in more childless women: love. Women are less tolerant of old-time sexist male attitudes and expectations. Women are more choosey as regards their male partners - I have many female friends who are single and childless by choice. They haven't found the available males sufficiently smart and 'with-it' to be worthy of their love interest. It's too bad as a lot of good women who would be good parents are ending up childless.

    Philip Hebert MD
    Toronto

    November 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  148. KB

    Jack,

    The answer to that question is easy. I don't want any children.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  149. Weldon from Canada

    You would have no problem to figure it out if you lived at my house!! Not only is the weather cold ! !

    November 10, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  150. Taylor Ezell

    I believe women are becoming more independent. They want to "have more fun." And let's not forget that the U.S. has added well over 50 million people to it's population since that time. Could be a number of things.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  151. Lee

    I'm a 41 year old woman without children.

    As a teenager, it was a non-starter. I had a plan and was having a ball enjoying my life. In my 20s, I was at university and having a ball enjoying my life. In my 30s, I was establishing my career, building equity and travelling and having a ball living my life.

    I always just assumed I'd meet the right person and would start a family then. I haven't met him – yet. As a teacher, I see everyday the challenges the children of single mothers face. I'm not prepared to do that to a child.

    Now, I'm in my 40s and even if I met someone with whom I'd like to have a child...I don't know. I plan to retire before that child would be fully grown let alone finished school. You can't achieve anything with just one degree so that would be a lot of education to pay for on a retirement. Besides, I have plans for my retirement. Teenagers aren't on that plan!

    I'm still having ball and enjoying my life, my house and my travelling. Norway and Iceland in 2009. Germany in 2010. The Olympics in England in 2012 – I've already booked my hotel!

    I love kids. I work with them everyday. But, I'm really not sure that I want to sacrifice the life I have now to raise any.

    I do, however, have 3 poodles.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  152. EssDee

    Jack, what about those of us who can't have children? Are we so few that we don't count? Why did I lose my uterus, ovaries, and cervix at the age of 33? Environmental poisons, perhaps? As a child I played in fields full of insecticide. I think it contributed. Don't assume that just because we don't have children that we didn't want any. (Denton, TX)

    November 10, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  153. Waiting

    Higher education and individual choice, Jack. As a medical student, I, among other women are furthering our education with graduate and professional degree programs prior to pregnancy. Today's "modern woman" may want to have family, but also has a strong desire to become professionally successful in community-enriching jobs. The "modern woman" is encouraged to help others and achieve goals, then have a family.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  154. Consuelo

    Good for those smart women for not having kids. I had one and absolutely hated being a mother and my baby was a good baby who never cried much at all. It was just that I had to be mom 24 hours a day every day and it was very stressful. I wisely chose not to have more than the one and I have taught her that being a parent is a choice and that it should be a very thought out choice before it happens.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  155. Phil Surette

    My wife and I are not going to have children. She is 34 and I am 47. She is just starting her career in the field of medicine and does not wish to be pregnant or caring for a one/two year old while in school or residency. If we wait till she is done I will be 55...and just starting to get pregnant. We have desided that children do not define us, like both of our mothers seem to think, and we will donate our time helping others that need our help.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  156. Anne N.

    1. Costs of childbearing & rearing: economic, opportunity, & personal
    fulfillment.
    2. Concern over overpopulation & the environment
    3. Having had an unhappy, abusive, neglectful, chemically addicted mother and/or father combined with recognition that lifelong effects on the children may result.
    4. Possibly higher rates of biological infertility and earlier onset of menses resulting in earlier menopause combined with higher age at marriage and first attempts at childbearing
    5. More knowledge about possible birth defects and the desire to avoid these.
    I am one of those childless women. I miscarried due to undiagnosed and untreated SLE (lupus) at 36 (age at which I married after graduate school). My husband was scared he was going to lose me and did not want to try again. Life without children is not, contrary to the thoughts of many, unfulfilling. I don't feel like "less of a woman." In retrospect, I think it worked out well. What child needs a mother who cannot pick him or her up, is often too tired to attend the events in his or her life, and who needs help with every day tasks?

    November 10, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  157. Ralph Hafford

    I agree with all that was mentioned,But one thing also very important an women having children later in life is also mens skeptisem of ladies being in for the long haul!!!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  158. Linny

    I'm a 25 year old white guy from Chicago. I've had a solid job since I graduated in 2008. The thought of kids hasn't even crossed my mind for two reasons. Who in their right mind would want to raise a child in this world? Our leaders can't even work together to support the citizens of the country they lead. Secondly, it's expensive as hell to raise a kid right now. How can a couple making $100k afford to send a kid to college? It's not feasible and certainly doesn't make sense. We need to work together if we ever want to accomplish anything in this country.

    DA BEARS!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  159. Y Walker

    I agree with some of what Ken in MD said. I made a personal choice not to have any because I remain unmarried, refuse to be a single parent as I grew up in a single parent household, wanted to be financially prepared for that lifelong expense, and never found a man I really wanted to share kids or my life with. At 50, I have no desire to have them especially in this economy. It doesn't seem like parents have done a great job with them; because most lack manners, morals, accountability, religion or respect for anyone including self.

    I too believe the population could use a serious break. They say kids are a blessing, I say they are liars. From what I've witnessed they seem to be anchors, too expensive, unruly and lack gratitude or respect toward their parents or anyone else. Besides that at least I don't have to worry that a child molestor kidnapped or killed my kid. That's one worry I really don't need. The loss of a child is too hard on parents, and I have seen it first hand.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  160. Courtney

    There is more pressure now than ever before to be a good mother, to be responsible, and for a mother to provide financially for her children.

    When you combine these relatively new attitudes with the reasons you've mentioned earlier, a woman's choice to have children and a family is more flexible.

    I am thankful that I can now make that choice without the criticism it would have brought in the past.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  161. Francine USA

    Life is too short to have kids in your 20s or 30s. I applaude the American women who go against the social norm and stopping the evil "you must get married and pump children out by 30" society that we live in.
    Rockville, MD

    November 10, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  162. Frank

    Just get people back to work so they have dignity. Make homes affordable again! give back the american dream to the working class so it don't take two people to support a family. The cost of everything has gone up 1000% in the last 30 years but the wages haven't! I went through 3 decades working jobs that only the migrants would work and I am an american. Politicians say nobody would want those jobs but I was darn glad to have them. I now get 357,00 a month from social security and thats it! and now they want to steal that. I have not had a thanksgiving or christmas in 3 decades and never had a vacation! Never had a new car or a house of my own.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  163. Harvey

    This is a good thing. Maybe, finally, humans are starting to realize our planet can only support so much. Mankind is putting sewage and trash in our oceans and waterways, destroying the food chain and climate. This is a global issue, and will require a global solution. The earth is finite size , with only so much resources, and we are destroying them at a very rapid pace. It is not expanding to support our ignorant uncontrolled growth. I believe humans are not part of the balance of nature, but the most dangerous animal on earth. The future does not look good, unless something is done. I do not mean just California, or the USA, but everyone.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  164. Mr.Garrett

    $13.723 Trillion reasons to hold on to every penny you earn.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  165. Alta

    Many of us don't want to be an idiot housewife with miserable kids like our mothers' felt obligated to be and had no other choice. We don't want kids because we want choices not being strapped into a life of a nanny, maid, housekeeper and all those other dismal jobs no one wants to do. And who on earth would want to be pregnant and then go through child birth. No Thanks!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  166. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Women are nipping and tucking everything today thinking about themselves first and only. I admire them because in past years the only ambition a woman could have is to get married and have children. Now women can have it all if they chose.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  167. Beth, Erie PA

    As a member of the 1 in 5 club, I would agree with all of the reasons mentioned. I have put off having a child and now I am much more responsible, financially stable (no debt), confident, and wise so I am far more prepared now to be a mother than in my 20s. Heck, Sandra Bullock and Kelly Preston are in their 40s...we are blessed to be living at a time when the option is possible.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  168. Dyanne O'Neal

    I am a 45 yo woman who decided at the age of 24 when I got married not to have children. Not only was it more feasible financially, but in order to follow a carrer path. Once we were better off financiall, my husband and I were able to help provide for our nieces and nephews, toys for tots, & several other children's organizations that we would have not be able to if we had children of our own. I proudly have been sponsering a child in Haiti for years. In the 90s for women my marrying age, it was determined that the USA couldn't provide for the children already here. To me the ones present were more important than me filling the 2.5 statistics. Considering crime, the enviromental issues, healthcare or lack of same, I am glad that was my decision and think it is one that should still be taken into consideration for any couple when deciding on having a family. Welfare can only do so much plus tv is not a good parent which is what a lot of people use to entertain and raise their children now.
    Dyanne O'Neal, Atlanta, GA

    November 10, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  169. Renee Peoria,Ill

    I'm a white woman, 47, and I always wanted children but I never met the right guy and couldn't afford to raise a child on my own. I'm too old now but oddly enough I don't regret it (I was always afraid I would). But in retrospect, I think I would regret it a lot more if I selfishly brought a child into this world without the means to properly care for him/her. Babies are adorable but a life in poverty isn't. In an already overpopulated world with dwindling resources I'm glad to hear that more and more people are doing the same, whatever their reasons.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  170. Sandra First

    ...because would-be parents know that every sip the baby takes...every bite the baby makes ,,, is loaded with pesticides. Who wants to bring up baby in a world that offers chemically laden water, genetically modified food,toxic air, plus mercury and aluminum in baby's vaccines? Not to mention the plastic (propylene glycol) the food industry is adding to our foods. Great shelf life! Lousy life for a baby who is born with a starter reservoir of 300 chemicals in his or her bloodstream.
    Sandy First, Arlington, Virginia. "Eat and drink organic!"

    November 10, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  171. C. Daniels

    Some of us are smart enough not to let religion manipulate us into being their pawns of giving birth to people they hope will make their religion more powerful and we don't want to be like our mothers. And some of us just don't like kids!!!!!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  172. kathy peoria az

    As I was growing up that seemed the thing to do, get married and have children. I remember my grandmother asking me if I was ever going to have children. I had a great paying job and when I had my first daughter at 33 and my next at 35 I was able to quit my job and stay home to raise my kids. I even had another daughter at 39. Not every woman wants to have children let alone be a mom to them. Todays women are a little more selfish and it is more about them and not giving all their time their children. Besides their are alot of kids in this world that need adopted because of parents not wanting them so let women have a good time if thats what they want without bringing a child into this world and that they are to busy to take care of. It takes alot of work and not everyone gets to have a reality show to pay for them.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  173. Greg Sobolewski

    Dear Jack,
    I happen to believe women are very bright. The reason women are having fewer babies, is because of the cost incured in raising a child. If you want to give your child everything they desire, eg) to play in sports, dance, music, etc. it costs a lot of money. It is irresponsible to raise a child when at times you are finding it difficult to make ends meet for yourself.

    Sincerely,
    Greg

    November 10, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  174. John Cline Jr.

    Dear Jack,

    I don't know the reason or, reasons for there being more childless women but, thank God for it! It's long overdue. Overpopulation is the number one problem facing our planet today.
    It is at the ROOT, of most of our other problems! I have said for years, that we shouldn't wait untill we're another China, to do something about it.
    Let's start with our tax laws! What are taxes used for? Goods and services, used by the people? Who needs the most Healthcare, schools built, etc?
    Families do! So, FAMILIES should be paying the MOST, not the least! Instead of REWARDING people for having more babies, we should be rewarding the people who have LESS Children!
    But, as long as Politicians stand up there squacking about "Helping Families", I wouldn't hold my breath!

    John Cline Jr.
    Bellevue, NE

    November 10, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  175. KL

    I am almost 25 and am still completing my higher degree in the health field. Although I can't wait to get married and have children, I realize that all that I do now is for my future kids so that they can have a better lifestyle than I or my parents or my grandparents, etc. I pray that I am not one of those childless women in my 40s, not even late 30s. But at the rate that I'm going, there are fewer and fewer quality men out there and more and more educated women....that's not being picky. Also, these men are too intimidated by an intelligent woman.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  176. Lindsey

    Jack,
    I am a 31-year old newly married physician. I don't have any children, and I'm not sure I want to have children. I love kids, but I also love my freedom to go out for dinner, spend time with friends, or take a weekend trip on a whim. Call me selfish, but right now, my dog is enough responsibility for me – I can't leave a baby locked in the kitchen for 8 hours a day.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  177. Not Interested

    If men had to get pregnant and then go through child care and then be responsible for all the cleaning, cooking, bathing, laundry, driving, teaching, etc., etc. then maybe we would consider going along with it. Until then, NO Thanks to having kids!!!!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  178. Sharon

    The post by Chris Jones hits dead on! He did forget to include one of the worst toxins/poisons a women can take....Birth Control pills! They need to be stopped!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  179. Justin

    If the people having all the chilren are Blacks,Mexicans and Asians it sure is NOT the lack of money. I think the Gov is just giving out too much welfare. How is it tha the low paid minorities can afford to more kids than everyone else?

    November 10, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  180. Stacy DeFranco

    Jack, My head snapped up at this topic because I am one of "those" awful women who did not want to have children. I also waited to marry the "right" person without worry of being an old maid. I traveled the world and enjoyed my life to the fullest! At 38 I married a man with 3 kids and learned that while helping raise my husbands kids over the years heard a lot of neighborhood moms say they would not do it again (have children) if they could do it over. I am now 50, and have no regrets at all! My husbands kids are grown and gone and he misses them often but we now can do everything we want. My husband lost his youth and freedom in his 20's and 30's raising his kids... and at 51 he is at last able to do whatever he wants to now, with me, like he is 20 all over again!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  181. Mr Sroda

    Jack I tell u the truth is because of lesbianism which has more influence on women of today and causing all these childless women thank you

    November 10, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  182. mike

    It's all about me, now. The responsibility is more than they want, this Country has moved away from Family Values we have been led away from whats important. It's also like the ladies say most men are very immature and only care about self satisfaction, like a child . So many women end up raising 2 children or getting divorced and then end up raising children them selves. It's about God, Country and Family this is what will make America survive.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  183. Mike

    If women marry, they can't have sex with many men every weekends as they wish, so they remain single. During the process they go through sexual diseases and abortions.

    Finally, they get older and not able to have a child on their own with a man they like.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  184. Christopher E. Regan

    The reason is simple,having a child takes sacrifice,and in todays society sacrifice is something that seems to be a desireable as licking a dog bowl.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  185. Colin

    Mr. Cafferty,

    You forgot the biggest reason that is causing a high rate of childless women. I think the rapid increase in the gay and lesbian life style have the largest impact on women not having children.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  186. Bella from NC

    It is a fear of giving up personal freedom and being stuck in bourgeois life. Women are finding satisfaction in higher education and meaningful careers.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  187. Sharon

    Jack
    Why is my comment about Birth Control and women beginning to look like and act like men not being posted? Why is this such a topic that NO ONE wants to touch? Offensive? Not if people start to look at things with some intelligence! If women take birth control pills for 10+yrs of her life, she is basically changing the reproductive makeup of her body and telling it, "do not get pregnant". The suddenly after ten years of altering her hormones she decides to have a baby and then expects the body to know what to do. And now we sit and wonder why there are more and more bisexual humans being born. Just like with birth defects, I don;t judge be we need to start paying attention to what we have done to women and their bodies!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  188. M.H.

    There are many factors, including those you mentioned. Improved access to birth control and to doctors who will perform abortions, and sex education in the public school system all increased a woman's ability to control whether or not she has children. These factors also helped decrease the average number of children women have.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  189. alice

    I am 37 years old women and still looking for the right person. It is hard to find the right person who shares the same dreams of marriage. yes we are in the 21 century but ... It is still "the man's world"🙂.
    I think it is more has to do with men's decision. Back in the days women used to took for special qualities in men like being economically stable. Now it is the opposite and there are lot of pressure on women to be economically stable.
    And, most men nowadays prefer men not women. So,really women have lot of competition out there.
    Have you ever seen a rich women single???? it is how this world turns my friend
    Thanks for this blog and this question, it is very important subject::)

    November 10, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  190. Fanny Broadseat

    First off, women who choose not to have children are not "child-less," we are child-FREE. There is a BIG difference. We are making informed choices.

    We are not experiencing the "loss" of anything.

    We are choosing to not add to the burden of a fatally overpopulated planet with rapidly diminishing resources.

    We are not compelling a child to live in a world filled with animal cruelty and massive extinction (I just LOVE knowing that I will see tigers, elephants, whales, etc., go extinct in my lifetime), a world where it is not safe to use a public bathroom alone or ride a bus to school, a world where the standard of living is plummeting and there is no hope for the future – particurly thanks to the current administration.

    I also deeply resent having to pay taxes to support people who choose to have more children than they can support. If you feel compelled to have multiple children, there are millions already here waiting to be adopted. If you can't pass the test to qualify to adopt, you have no business breeding more on your own and then asking us to pay for their upkeep. Oh, and what great role models these parents are to all their offshoots...

    I repeat, we are exstatically child-FREE.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  191. Justin, Indiana

    If the people having all the chilren are Blacks,Mexicans and Asians it sure is NOT the lack of money. I think the Gov is just giving out too much welfare. How is it that the low paid minorities can afford to more kids than everyone else?

    November 10, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  192. Dr. Todd Wangsgard

    Selfishness. Selfishnessness on part of the potential mother, father and society. Selfishness.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  193. Kevin of SD CA

    Hopefully men are wising up to the fact that lawyers, judges, mental health, and the rest of the support staff running family law are nothing but a bunch of glorified pimps; and they use women and children as bait in order to suck the life out hard working men and their estates!

    When government passes strict enough separate property laws and gets rid of welfare for women who breed like cockroaches then maybe be will have a chance at having real family values again and a new generation of real Americans!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  194. crissy

    Why would you want to raise children in a country with no morals? Also as women we have to deal with the home, finances and then raising the children. The good lord help us.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  195. Kevin of SD CA

    Hopefully men are wising up to the fact that lawyers, judges, mental health, and the rest of the support staff running family law are nothing but a bunch of glorified pimps; and they use women and children as bait in order to suck the life out hard working men and their estates!

    When government passes strict enough separate property laws and gets rid of welfare for women who breed like cockroaches then maybe we will have a chance at having real family values again, and a new generation of real Americans!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:57 pm |