Looking for per-woman fertility statistics

By the time of menopause, some percentage of women will have had no children, some percentage will have had one, two, three, etc., on up to some crazy numbers in the 30s. My intuition says that the percentage goes to near zero past 6, but what do I know? Maybe there’s a healthy percentage of 9-kid families that I just never run across. Maybe there’s a peak hidden out in the tail of the data of women trying to hit 12, or something.

I’m trying to find data as to what those percentages actually are. It’s not fertility rate or total fertility rate or specific fertility rate or even individual fertility rate; these are averages. I’m looking for - what, exactly? I feel like I’m missing the correct term to search for. So the question is what such demographic information would be called.

I did find a press release of a Pew study (here that broke things down in the US by 1,2,3, or 4+ children, but didn’t include 0 or any granularity above 4. “Family sizer per mother” doesn’t get useful hits other than that Pew release.

Maybe “distribution of fertility rate”?

Not exactly what you were looking for, but it’s a starting point:

You may be able to follow up by searching on the author. I found this by googling: number of children per mother

Statista seems like a pretty good bet to find leads.


Table 2 here is pretty good. Stops at 4 or more though like the Pew one does.

It may be that granular data beyond that is not tabulated.

This site Fertility Rate - Our World in Data looks as if it has useful data.

Or perhaps, “distribution of number of children per women in the population of the US”

The word you are looking for is “distribution”, at any rate.

This may do the job.

This gives some clues:

You could try extracting the information from the census yourself, it looks like you can sign up free of charge:


There’s a variable for number of children a woman has ever had, you’d need to get that for women over say 45, so that they’ve completed their families.

What surprises me is that the two-child family is still more common than one child. I suppose to zero-child statistic makes up for that. Indeed, the proportion of 1-child families is declining from 1990. Also interesting is the dip in “zero children” in the 1970-1980 count. Is that social or medical reasons? Also the time when 3-child families peaked.