The pre-eminent family unit of the mid-20th century—mom, dad and the kids—no longer has the stage to itself. A variety of new arrangements have emerged, giving rise to a broader and evolving definition of what constitutes a family.
Nearly one-in-five American women ends her childbearing years without having borne a child, compared with one-in-ten in the 1970s. While childlessness has risen for all racial and ethnic groups, and most education levels, it has fallen over the past decade for women with advanced degrees.
Today’s mothers of newborns are more likely than their counterparts two decades earlier to be ages 35 and older, to have some college education, to be unmarried or to be nonwhite — but not all at once.
Today’s mothers of newborns are older and better educated than their counterparts in 1990, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the National Center for Health Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau. They are less likely to be white and less likely to be married.