For most highly educated women, motherhood doesn’t start until the 30s

Source: Pew Research Center

best time for women to have children career familyWhen should women who want to advance professionally have children? The public is split — 36% say that having kids early in her career is the way to go for a woman who wants to “reach a top executive position,” while 40% say it’s better for a woman to hold off until she’s well established in her career. And another one-fifth say that women who want to advance up the career ladder should not have kids at all, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

But what are U.S. women — particularly those well-positioned to pursue a career — actually doing when it comes to building their families?

Among women ages 40 to 50, the median age at which those with a master’s degree or more first became mothers now stands at 30, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of census data. In comparison, the median age at first birth for women with a high school diploma or less is just 24.

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