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Fewer Married Women Having Children

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Although the vast majority of women who get married have children, the numbers of married women who remain childless has increased over the past quarter century.

An analysis by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University reveals that 6 percent of married women ages 40 to 44 have no biological, adopted or stepchildren in their households, compared to 4.5 percent in 1988.

One of the reasons for the change can be attributed to more women concentrating on careers and putting off starting families until later in life.  At that point, older women find it more difficult conceiving than their counterparts in their 20s and early 30s.

However, as Susan L. Brown, co-director of the National Center for Family & Marriage Research, explains, there's another factor accounting for fewer married women having children, namely the changing nature of the institution of marriage.

Brown says that unlike the past, marriage is becoming less associated with bringing up children and that by delaying parenthood, couples may make the conscious decision not to share their lives with kids.

It's possible, according to studies from the Pew Research Center and the journal Demography, that the job of child rearing is too demanding since parents are spending more time and money on children than past generations.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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