One in five women is choosing to remain childless rather than sacrifice their career, according to a new study by the Office for National Statistics.
The number of childless women in England and Wales has increased from an estimated 10% of women born in 1945 to 19% of women who were born in 1960. Of the women in the study, 42% of childless women had managerial or professional jobs compared with 30% of women with children.
The study suggests that the decision to remain childless is a lifestyle choice as the trend is more marked among women of higher social class, with better qualifications, and who were brought up as only children.
“Studies have identified present-day childlessness as being different from the past,” the study said. “This is because present-day childlessness is occurring increasingly often among healthy females who are living within marriage or cohabiting and who are sexually active.”
In the past, childlessness was due to poverty, poor nutrition and low marriage rates caused by war and emigration.
If you’re thinking of going back to work after having a baby here are some tips for balancing motherhood with your career.