LONDON, April 30, 2003 ( – One-quarter of women with post-secondary education are choosing to remain childless, say new findings from Britain’s Office for National Statistics published in its journal Population Trends. As it is, 15% of women who do not pursue post-secondary education choose to remain childless. But this self-imposed infertility increases to 22.5% among women with a degree or professional qualification.  The study, reported in The Times last week, shows that “women with higher educational qualifications are 50% less likely to have children” than those who chose not to pursue higher education. For career women with a good job, says study author Steven Smallwood, children are seen as carrying too great an “opportunity cost”—measured in terms of lost income and promotion possibilities.  “The findings raise questions about the future shape of society at a time when 53% of university entrants are female and when the birthrate has fallen to an average of 1.64 children per woman – the lowest since records began in 1924,” says The Times, adding, “The long-term implications of the findings could be profound.”  For coverage in The Times:,,1-2-658465,00.html   For the Spring 2003 issue of Population Trends (UK):