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The Pew Charitable Trusts
After the Fact
The American Family: Postponing Parenthood
In the second installment of our special series on the American family, we explore what parenthood looks like today in the U.S., and how it’s evolved over the past several decades.

American women today are waiting longer to have children but are more likely to have kids by the end of their childbearing years than a decade ago. In fact, 86 percent of women ages 40-44 are mothers, compared with 80 percent about 10 years ago.
In this week's episode, you'll hear from two different moms with one thing in common: They both waited to have kids—one on her own, one with her husband.

Gretchen Livingston, senior researcher on fertility and family demographics at the Pew Research Center, also shares some key findings about Americans and parenthood today.
"I decided to have my son on my own because I hadn't met the right person."
Cara Lemieux, Newtown, Connecticut
Parenthood by the Numbers
Host Dan LeDuc is greeted by Cara Lemieux, a single mother of two.
25 percent: About 1 in 4 U.S. parents are unmarried.

80 percent: The share of highly educated women ages 40-44 who have given birth, compared with 65 percent in 1994.

46 percent: The share of two-parent households in the U.S. in which both parents work full-time.

8 hours: The number of hours fathers report spending on child care each week in 2016. In 1965, this figure was just two and a half hours.
Coming next week...
After the kids arrive, so do the related expenses. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated that for a middle-class American family today, raising a child costs $233,610—and that doesn't include college.

In our next episode, we’ll talk to families that are trying to make it all work—from taking extra jobs to cutting back on expenses, American families are facing the crunch.
What's Your American Family Story?
Are you waiting to have children? If you do have kids, how did you know the time was right?

Email us at or share your story with us on Twitter @pewtrusts or @TheDanLeDuc.

Note: By sharing your story, you are agreeing to provide permission for Pew to include your content in a future episode, newsletter, or on our website. Inclusion in such Pew content is not guaranteed.
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