Almost 20 percent of American women (nearly one in five women) in their early 40s are childless, a trend that has almost doubled since the 1970s, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. The study focused only on biological offspring and did not account for stepchildren or adopted children, according to The Washington Post.
Back in the 1970s, almost one in 10 American women aged 40-44 were childless. There were 1.9 million women without biological children in 2008. In 1976, there were 580,000.
Researchers cite social and cultural shifts as reasons behind the increase in women not having their own children. For example, women are under less pressure to have children, have better access to contraceptives and also have expanded job opportunities, researchers say.