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Birth and Fertility Rates by Educational Attainment: United States, 1994


Educational attainment has long been considered an important measure of socioeconomic status in describing fertility differentials. Birth rates by maternal educational attainment provide a way to interpret variations in childbearing patterns. This report "Birth and Fertility Rates by Educational Attainment: United States, 1994" presents birth rates for the United States by educational attainment of the mother. Rates are shown by age, race, Hispanic origin of mother, birth order, and marital status. Calculated for the first time are total fertility rates by educational attainment of mother. Data shown in this report are based on 100 percent of birth certificates registered in all States and the District of Columbia.


Data Highlights:

  • Birth rates differ considerably by educational attainment. In 1994 women with 0-8 years of education had the highest birth rates overall, while those who started but did not complete college had the lowest.
  • Among women aged 25 years and over, unmarried women with less education had a much higher birth rate than unmarried women who attended school longer.
  • For college-educated women, low first birth rates for women in their twenties and high first birth rates for women in their thirties point to the continuing trend of delayed childbearing.


Keywords: education and fertility, birth rates by education


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