A report by the Census Bureau titled, Fertility of Women in the United States: 2012 describes the characteristics of mothers by variables such as race, location, and age. The factor that this post will focus on is educational attainment.
One measure that the report uses is completed fertility for women aged 40-50. Since most women are done having children by around 40, this table shows how many children a typical woman has had in her lifetime. This data is separated by education cohort. (I can’t figure out how to insert excel graphs into the post. So refer to table 2 on the pdf linked at the bottom) The table shows that as education increases, births per 1,000 women decreases. When you transform the data to births per woman, you can see that women with no high school diploma have on average 0.9 more children than women with professional or graduate degrees.
Another interesting chart is figure three. For each five year age range starting at 15, the graph shows how birth rates change with education. For women under 30 years old, those with a high school diploma or less have much higher birth rates than the other levels. However, once you pass age 30, women with Bachelor’s degrees have the highest fertility rates.
Thus, women with little education tend to have more children and have them earlier in life compared to those with more education.