The number of American women who say they expect to have a child in the future is higher than a decade ago, according to new federal survey data.
A new report from the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 50% of American women between the ages of 15 to 44 say they expect to have a child. In 2002, 46% of women said the same.
On average, U.S. women expect to have about two kids. The vast majority of women who already had two or more children said they did not expect to have more.
The researchers don’t provide reasons for why more women expect to have children now than in the past, but they do note that birth expectations are influenced by sexual activity, contraceptive use and fertility. Progress in infertility treatments may give women more confidence in their likelihood of having children. It’s also possible that people feel more confident in the economy, as STAT reports, and that the economic climate is stable enough to have children.