National Survey Details U.S. Women's Progeny Expectations

On average, in 2013 to 2015, women expect to have 2.2 children in their lifetime; down from 2002
On average, in 2013 to 2015, women expect to have 2.2 children in their lifetime; down from 2002

HealthDay News — Fifty percent of U.S. women aged 15 to 44 years expect to have a child in the future, according to an October data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Jill Daugherty, PhD, and Gladys Martinez, PhD, from the NCHS in Hyattsville, Maryland, describe women's birth expectations using data from the National Survey of Family Growth. 

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The researchers found that 50% of U.S. women aged 15 to 44 years expected to have a child in the future. Regardless of the number of biological children they have had, in 2013 to 2015, women had differences by age in their expectations of having a child in the future. On average, in 2013 to 2015, women expected to have 2.2 children in their lifetime; a decrease from the 2002 estimate. The percentage of women expecting to have a child within two years of the interview was smaller for never married, not cohabiting women (5%) compared with currently married and currently cohabiting women (19 and 16%, respectively). Most women (82%) who already had at least two children did not expect to have more children.

"Women who have not yet had any children, younger women, and women who have never been married were more likely to expect to have a child in the future compared with other groups," the authors write.

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