Fertility

Women with advanced degrees are having more kids

Data: Hazan and Zoabi, 2015, via a World Economic Forum article; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

More education typically leads to fewer children — but now, demographers say American women with an advanced degree are having more kids on average than those with only bachelor's degrees.

The big picture: Increased education and opportunity for women has been a key driver of globally falling fertility rates and aging populations. But in the U.S., the trend over several decades seems to be reversing itself among the most educated women, according to data from the World Economic Forum — possibly because they're in a better financial and social position to have children.

Being 30 then and now

In the mid-to-late-20th century, the American economy and culture were ripe for 30-year-old men, who — more than European and Japanese — typically landed well-paid careers, bought homes, and supported large families. But since then, getting ahead has become much harder.

Data: College attendance, median income, and home ownership from U.S. Census Bureau; cost of tuition from CollegeBoard; median debt from "The Great American Debt Boom, 1948-2013" by Alina Bartscher, Moritz Kuhn, Moritz Schularick and Ulrike I. Steins; marriage figures from a Pew Research Center analysis of the 1960-2000 decennial censuses and 2010 and 2016 American Community Survey (IPUMS). Note: All dollars are inflation-adjusted to 2016. Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios