In comparison, according to a Pew Research Center poll published in 2010, based on data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the Census Bureau in the U.S. compared women who gave birth in 2008 to those who gave birth in 1990. In this report PEW found:
- Age: Mothers of newborns are older now than their counterparts were two decades ago. In 1990, teens had a higher share of all births (13%) than did women ages 35 and older (9%). In 2008, the reverse was true — 10% of births were to teens, compared with 14% to women ages 35 and older. Each race and ethnic group had a higher share of mothers of newborns in 2008 who are ages 35 and older, and a lower share who are teens, than in 1990.
- Marital Status: A record four-in-ten births (41%) were to unmarried women in 2008, including most births to women in their early 20s. In 1990, 28% of births were to unmarried women. The unmarried-mother share of births has increased most sharply for whites and Hispanics, although the highest share is for black women.
- Race and Ethnicity: White women made up 53% of mothers of newborns in 2008, down from 65% in 1990. The share of births to Hispanic women has grown dramatically, to one-in-four.
- Education: Most mothers of newborns (54%) had at least some college education in 2006, an increase from 41% in 1990. Among mothers of newborns who were ages 35 and older, 71% had at least some college education.
- Explaining the Trends: All the trends cited above reflect a complex mix of demographic and behavioral factors. For example, the higher share of college-educated mothers stems both from their rising birth rates and from women’s increasing educational attainment. The rise in births to unmarried women reflects both their rising birth rates and the shrinking share of adults who are married.
- Attitudes about Parenthood: When asked why they decided to have their first (or only) child, the overwhelming majority of parents (87%) answer, “The joy of having children.” But nearly half (47%) also say, “There wasn’t a reason; it just happened.” (The New Demography…)
Additionally, women having it all has been in the American media in the last few months, or rather that they can’t have it all, but are still somehow expected to. Meaning that far too many people (individuals, groups and society at large) are still of the opinion that women are the one’s who should be or, at least are the ones that should raise the children, while also working more hours than any other decades before them. In 2009, PEW published another study about the role of men and women as partners in raising children called, The Harried Life of the Working Mother, and made some interesting, but not surprising discoveries:
- 37% of women polled, compared to 79 % of men said they would prefer to work full-time.
- 62 % of women and only 21% of men said they would be prefer to work part-time (and thus help out more with child rearing).
- Regarding stress, 86% of working moms said they sometimes frequently feel stress compared to 74% of working dads.
- 19% of the general American public agree that women should return to their traditional roles while 75% disagree.