The Reasons Women Are Delaying Motherhood Are Kind Of Great

Photographed by Refinery29.
Earlier this year, it was reported that women are having kids later than ever — and now we may know why.

According to research from the Fertility Centers Of Illinois, women in the U.S. are waiting longer to have children for some pretty practical reasons, including financial stability and prioritizing their careers. The research was conducted through interviews with 1,208 women across the country, aged 25-45, who did not have children. The participants answered questions online, and were able to give more than one answer.

Here were the top five reasons women waited to have children, listed by the percentage of women who cited them.

1. I want to be financially established so I don’t struggle like my parents did (82%).
2. I want to have life experience and be emotionally stable (80%).
3. I want to focus on my career (63%).
4. I value my freedom and don’t want to be tied down (60%).
5. I haven’t found the right partner yet (54%).

Of the women surveyed, 67% were interested in having children, but were not trying to become pregnant at the time of the interview. Fifty percent were trying to have a baby within the next one to five years, while approximately 13% were currently trying to conceive at the time of the interview.

Women age 25-29 had the highest likelihood of identifying with needing financial stability and career focus, suggesting again that the high cost of having a baby can be too much for many millennial women to bear. This same demographic of women, however, was also more likely to cite needs for life experience and emotional stability as reasons for delaying motherhood.

As the findings show, waiting to have a partner ranks in at the bottom of the list of women's top concerns when it comes to having a child. In fact, 61% of women who made less than $49,000 per year cited finding the right partner as a reason to wait, but in the case of women with incomes greater than $100,000 per year, only 37% said they were waiting for a partner.

The results of the survey suggest that women are prioritizing personal success and stability before starting a family — and while women can obviously be happy and fulfilled regardless of their age and career status when they have their first child (or if they have one at all), it's good to know that women now have more flexibility in their life choices.
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