Modern Mothers Older, More Diverse

May 10, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Data-driven | Hispanic | Women | Youth & Gen X

Women who gave birth in the US were older and less likely to be white or married in 2008 than in 1990, according to Pew Research Center analysis.

Mothers Getting Older
The average age of women who give birth in the US is getting older. In 2008, 10% of mothers were younger than 20, compared to 13% in 1990. In contrast, 14% of mothers were older than 35 in 2008, compared to 9% in 1990. Slightly fewer women who gave birth in 2008 were between the ages of 20 and 34 (75%) than in 1990 (78%).


More Mothers are Hispanic, Asian
A significantly higher percentage of women who gave birth in the US in 2008 were Hispanic (24%) than in 1990 (14%). There was also a spike in the percentage of Asian women giving birth in 2008 (6%) compared to 1990 (3%). A large decline occurred in the percentage of mothers who were white (65% in 1990, 53% in 2008), and a slight decline occurred in the percentage of mothers who were black (16% in 1990, 15% in 2008).

Fewer Mothers are Married
While married women constituted 72% of childbirths in 1990, they only accounted for 59% of childbirths in 2008.

Other Findings

  • The average age for US mothers who had their first baby in 2008 was 25, a year older than the average first-time mother in 1990.
  • Among all women who had a baby in 2008, the average age is 27, up from 26 in 1990.
  • According to Pew Research Center population projections, 82% of the nation’s population growth through 2050 will be accounted for by immigrants who arrived in the U.S. after 2005 and their descendants.

Moms Like Social Media, Free Stuff
Retailers and marketers trying to influence moms of all demographic backgrounds should pay close attention to their social media efforts and also focus on free items, promotions and discounts, according to a Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA) survey conducted by BIGresearch.

The study found that women with children at home are more likely to use Facebook (60.3%), MySpace (42.4%) and Twitter (16.5%) than average adults (50.2%, 34.4%, 15.0%, respectively). Moreover, 15.3% maintain their own blog.
In addition, on a scale of one to five, when asked what types of promotions most influence their purchases, product samples in the store (3.8), product samples delivered to home (3.6), loyalty cards (3.5), and special displays (3.4) rank as moms’ favorites.

About the Data: Pew Research Center analyzed data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the Census Bureau, as well as nationwide Pew Research Center survey that asked a range of questions about parenthood.

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