College educated women are having all the babies these days.

This is a teaser post, I hope to get the numbers up later this week. But the long and short of it is that the cognitive sort has happened. Women who have some college education and especially who are married have a majority of the kids these days (since 2007). This is kinda true even among black women, the college educated ones have a significantly lower OOW percentage and also represent a supermajority of married births since 2007. And with white women, percent married and percent college educated are identical shares of their total births since 2007, about 70% each.

By the by, nearly 600k babies were born to married PhDs since 2007. This number is pretty close to the number for women with less than an 8th grade education who are married.

The insight here is that I gotta believe my lying eyes and the CDC’s birth data tables. Men are impressed by women’s accomplishments or attempts at accomplishment if it has to do with higher education. Or they just met her there. Or both. The only ladder left is the college one and if a woman at least jumps for a rung and falls down with a busted rung of credits without the credential, she still has a better chance of getting married before the babies come than if she never tries.

So telling women in aggregate to not “do college” or complaining about them taking classes and not managing to finish enough for a degree is in effect saying that you don’t want kids, plural, in wedlock, to remain the bulk of births.

I have some preference for the world that was, where there were parallel ladders to intellectual life, but the very couples I’m reading about were already sawing up the other ladders about 70 years ago when they collectively agreed back then that college for both boys and girls was what they would sacrifice for. There is a whole section in that study about how much a couple would give up to send a girl to school and the researchers were surprised that as early as 1957, parents were already on Team College for girls in big numbers.

Related: A pew link from a few years ago, including a graph where you can see that this pattern was baked in decades ago.
http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/05/10/record-share-of-new-mothers-are-college-educated/

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9 thoughts on “College educated women are having all the babies these days.

  1. “There is a whole section in that study about how much a couple would give up to send a girl to school and the researchers were surprised that as early as 1957, parents were already on Team College for girls in big numbers.”

    Yes, 1957 was already the heyday of the MRS.

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  2. I have some preference for the world that was, where there were parallel ladders to intellectual life, but the very couples I’m reading about were already sawing up the other ladders about 70 years ago when they collectively agreed back then that college for both boys and girls was what they would sacrifice for.

    The problem with wishing everything back to the way it was is the tunnel focus. Yes, I’m certain that women entering the workforce en masse was “a” contributor to the stagnation of wages, but it certainly isn’t “the” factor. There’s also offshoring, immigration, unions making domestic labor uncompetetive (I realize these are all Rightist talking points), as well as the rest of the world shifting their activities and priorities to match/surpass the actions of their leaders/rivals (China opening factories, India churning out professionals).

    If women were banned from the workplace right now, does anyone really think wages would come back up? Also, sealing the borders and slashing the number of H1-B’s only means that the Chindians will look for a more accommodating country. Justin Twitteau has already virtue signaled the possibility of a massive tech relocation to my ex-country of Canuckistan, but Mexico is actively courting Indians too.

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    • My tunnel vision is narrower than women entering the workforce, lol. It’s strictly about how you get a severely reduced quality of life as a SAHM with intellectual desires if you don’t live in a college-focused enclave (not the same as simply attending college). And this was obviously not the case back in the day. You could have a social world with interesting things to do and some childcare even as a SAHM, and now that’s basically only for a subset within a subset of college educated mothers. The era of the autodidact, where a really interesting one could even achieve national prominence, that’s what I’m talking about, and it was the children of those adults who got on the college train instead.

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    • But the other other side of this, though, is that all those guys ranting about how college made women not want to have babies are missing that a bunch of women who ended up becoming married mothers (while young even) were already attending at least some college by the 1950s. The Pew article I added at the end has a pretty interesting chart showing that mothers of infants were already close to 20% college attendance in 1960, so mostly women born around 1935-1942 or so. Further, college educated women rapidly became a significant plurality of (mostly) married mothers. It looks like the 50% mark for mothers of infants was crossed sometime in the late 1980s.

      Fewer individual women are having kids, but the 60% who are having them in wedlock are heavily skewed towards college attendance and completion, which means “no college for women EVER” rhetoric is shooting your own side.

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      • TPC said:

        “But the other other side of this, though, is that all those guys ranting about how college made women not want to have babies are missing that a bunch of women who ended up becoming married mothers (while young even) were already attending at least some college by the 1950s.”

        Yes. My grandma, for example, had a little college in the 1940s (as did grandpa before his WWII service). Grandma’s family had had a pretty rough time during the Depression, but a lot of the kids went to college. I’m not sure about the chronology, but I believe grandma was planning to be a teacher. She went on to have a paradigmatic Boomer family of three children starting in the late 1940s.

        “Fewer individual women are having kids, but the 60% who are having them in wedlock are heavily skewed towards college attendance and completion, which means “no college for women EVER” rhetoric is shooting your own side.”

        Right.

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  3. Pingback: College education and birth numbers, 2007-2015 – The Practical Conservative

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