A big challenge for anyone interested in monitoring rates of childlessness among women is that there aren’t many folks doing it with you. The majority of demographic studies and U.S. Census reports are about fertility, and with good reason. New citizens keep a country going.
It’s not difficult at all to find data about a nation’s births, and mothers.How many kids is just the beginning. How old are the mothers when they deliver? Was she on public assistance? Is Dad around?
The oft-cited 2010 Pew Research Center study announcing one in five American women will never give birth was a beacon. A major examination of women without kids. Landmark stuff.
Usually, figuring out stats for women without kids requires some math. And I HATE math. But, two news stories this week showed once again that beyond American borders, math isn’t all it takes.
- New figures released by Statistics Canada reveal that in 2011, one-person households surpassed the number of couples with children for the first time.
Add in: Media reports attribute Canada’s increase in one-person households to an older population. How many of them have kids who grew up and left home? Canada also announced that same-sex households tripled in 2011. Another complication. How to cull childless women out of the mix?
Canada’s 2011 census also counted stepfamilies for the first time. Logic dictates that just as American stepmoms have reached out to TheNotMom.com, surely there are Canadian stepmothers who may relate to it because they’ve never given birth.
Is it unfair to say that “childlessness” meets semantics?
- The government of the world’s most populated nation, the People’s Republic of China, limits every couple among its 1.3 billion citizens to one child. Ever. The one-child policy was instituted in 1978. There are a few official exceptions, like twins.
Ignore, for a moment, the horror stories about forced abortions there, and killings of women and their unwanted girl babies. The government is now dealing with issues of childlessness created when that one child dies. A unique group of women. Would they consider themselves NotMoms? Does it matter?