Survey Indicates College Women Have Few Children

A survey of all the women who have graduated since 1972 from an unidentified Ivy League college shows that the group of 900 women has produced only three children. The study underscores the declining birth rate in the United States.

Similar figures for the Radcliffe Class of '72 will not be available until the results of the Radcliffe Centennial Survey are released in June, Charlotte D. McGhee, a member of the Radcliffe Development Office, said Friday.

However, a survey of the Class of '69 showed that 137 women had a total of ten children by their fifth reunion, according to Harriet B. Belin '43, compiler of the survey. This survey shows that in a similar five year period women from earlier classes have had more children.

David Riesman '31, Ford Professor of Social Sciences Emeritus, said Sunday that in a 1977 survey of all the women in the four most recent classes at Bryn Mawr, about 800 women had a total of five children.

"This trend is true of college-educated women in general," Riesman said, adding that demographers do not know whether these women will have children later in life.

There is heavy social pressure on young couples to have no more than two children, Riesman said. He added that two other factors holding down the birth rate are the increasing risk for women to have children as they get older, and the scarcity of daycare facilities available to working women.