Voluntary, Involuntary and Temporary Childlessness in the United States

Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Texas A&M University
Cristina Elizabeth Cruz, Texas A&M University

This paper focuses on childlessness among White, Black and Hispanic women in the U.S. After reviewing the relevant literature, we then examine childlessness trends from 1910 to 2008 for the three groups of women. Then we use data from the 2006-08 National Survey of Family Growth to examine the degree of voluntary, involuntary, and temporary childlessness among the women. Having categorized the women according to their type of childlessness, we then estimate multinomial regression equations predicting the likelihood of women being in each of the childlessness groups versus being in the group of women having children. Education is shown to be the most significant predictor. We discuss these and other results in our Conclusion and examine some of the implications of our research.

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Presented in Poster Session 6