North America

Childlessness in US among highest in the world: Report

343849_childlessness rateThe childlessness rate among women nearing the end of their childbearing years in the United States is among the highest in the world, according to the latest World Fertility Report by the United Nations, which also shows that 41 percent of all US births occurred to unmarried women.

Among 118 places for which comparable data is available, only six have rates of childlessness higher than the US rate of 19 percent, Pew Research Center noted Friday in its analysis of the World Fertility Report 2012.

Women between the ages of 40 and 44 in the US have, on average, about 1.9 children in their lifetimes, which is one of the lowest levels of 171 countries analyzed, with just 19 places having an equal or lower lifetime fertility levels.

However, US women fall squarely in the middle range when it comes to the age at which they first become mothers, which according to the UN is 25 years for US women.

In the area of non-marital births, the US ranks 49th among 91 places with comparable data. The UN report shows that 41 percent of all US births occurred to unmarried women.

Fertility has declined worldwide to unprecedented levels since the 1970s, the report noted. “Total fertility fell in all but six of the 186 countries or areas for which data are available for all three periods considered in the analysis. In the most recent period covered, 80 countries or areas had a total fertility below 2.1 children per woman, the level required to ensure the replacement of generations in low mortality populations.” The Christian Post

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