Pew: More education correlates to later fatherhood

Just 14% of fathers age 22 to 44 say they had kids before they were 25

Men who earn a college degree are more likely to become fathers later in life than their less-educated peers, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of National Center for Health Statistics data.

Researchers examined numbers from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), one of the few surveys that ask both sexes about fertility. However, Pew researchers caution that the survey likely underreports approximately 20% of births to young men, according to their analysis.

Among fathers 22- to 44-years-old:

  • 70% with less than a high school diploma said they had a child before age 25;
  • 45% who attended some college said they had a child before age 25; and
  • 14% with at least a bachelor's degree said they had a child before age 25.

Among fathers with less than a high school diploma, just 9% had their first child between ages 30 and 44. Conversely, 44% of men with a bachelor's degree or more said the same.

The findings echo those regarding women and higher education—those with more are more likely to have children when they are older, rather than younger (Livingston, "Fact Tank," Pew Research Center, 6/19).

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