Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Men, women, and childlessness

In the comments of the last post, Dr. Bruce Charlton reminds us of the issue of growing female childless ness. Let's compare men and women on this. I list below the percent of people without any children. I limit the women to those ages 45 to 64, and ages 50 to 69 for men.

Percent childless

Men 17.3
Women 13.8

Men 13.4
Women 10.2

Men 14.3
Women 15.8

Men 19.0
Women 15.8

Men 16.6
Women 18.8

The percent of women with no kids almost doubled from 10.2 percent in the 1980s to 18.8 percent in 2010. Having no kids has also grown a bit among men. The childless numbers for men and women are pretty close to each other which fails to support the claim that men are much more variable in their fruitfulness than women.


  1. These are remarkable numbers. I had looked at the last US census numbers, and observed the big increase in zero children with increasing years of education. These averages have been somewhat diluted by continued immigration. Probably the picture of decline is even more striking for long term natives.

  2. One wonders what the rate of error in men's perceptions of their parental status is. How many men think they are the father of their children, but aren't, and how many men who think their childless don't know that they've actually fathered a child? (Do these effects balance, or even come close to balancing?)


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