You are here
Big Families Are Back in Style
If popular culture were any indication, you'd think big families are back. Television shows like Jon & Kate Plus 8, 19 Kids and Counting and 9 By Design follow women whose outlook on kids seems to be the more the merrier. Plus, celebrities like Heidi Klum (four kids) and Angelina Jolie (six kids) make many-children motherhood look glamorous.
All of which raises the question: Are professional women shattering the two-children, nuclear-family norm?
Susan W. Hinze, professor of sociology and women’s and gender studies at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, offers a definitive "maybe." According to the National Center for Health Statistics, fertility rates increased steadily until 2006 to 2.1 children per American woman, hitting a high since the baby boom in 1961. However, there's been a slight decrease in births in the past few years likely because of the recession, says Hinze. This year, the Central Intelligence Agency estimates an average rate of 2.05 children per woman.