The New York Times has an interesting article today on the age of a new mom, and what that means for their lives and the lives of their children.
The basic gap: women with college degrees tend not to become mothers until age 31 or 32, on average. At that point, they have a career, decent income and can afford some of the things that can help their children get ahead (tutors, music lessons, travel, etc.). These women tend to be found on the East and West Coasts.
Women without college degrees tend to become mothers at age 20 or 21. They typically are poor, have no job qualifications and can’t afford anything to help their children. Their children tend to stay under-educated and poor, with next to no real possibilities for economic advancement. These women tend to be found in rural areas in the Midwest and South.
Some states provide young mothers with assistance in the forms of housing, healthcare, and career training. That at least gives the mother and her child a shot at a better life. Other states provide inadequate help, if any. That’s where we see a permanent strata of the poor.
Don’t confuse poor and minority. White children are 1/3 of those living in poverty, larger than any other racial or ethnic group.(2)
- Columbia University National Center for Children in Poverty. http://www.nccp.org/media/releases/release_34.html (2018)