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How To Know If You'll Ever Give Birth

Rising numbers of women never become moms. How can you know if you’ll be one of them?

The Daily Beast has rounded up a mess of scary statistics to spook women about their odds of having a baby. Take it with several grains of salt. It’s not a crystal ball, just a bunch of numbers.

Fairly predictable ones: women with more education are less likely to have kids, and have fewer of them. Women in their 40s are less likely to have a first child. A lot less likely: there’s only a 0.18% that a woman over 44 will give birth for the first time. Women with PhDs are less likely than any other group to have babies. Also unlikely to have kids: college educated women who never marry.

For the most part, these statistics point to things women might do instead of having kids because they don’t want kids. If you’ve got your heart set on a baby, a college degree isn’t going to stop you from getting one.

Want to take the straight path to mommyhood?

Drop out of high school and start having sex, preferably with someone much older. Teens who lose their virginity before age 15 have a 46 percent chance of being knocked up by the time they’re 20. That numbers leaps upwards if you’re having sex with someone more than 6 years older than you. High school dropouts are more likely to have kids than any other age group: 85 percent will give birth over their lifetimes. If you’re married, that number jumps to 91 percent.

Dropping out of high school is a pretty crazy scheme for having a baby. I’d bet that what these data show is simply that women with more choices available, through education and opportunity, make a wider array of choices. Some of which just don’t involve having kids.

Photo: Ed Yourdon

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