Danish research: young mothers earn far less

Women who give birth to their first children aged 30 or under have considerably lower lifetime earnings

Danish research has revealed that women who give birth to their first children when they are aged 30 or under earn considerably less than women who have their first child later in life.

The research, based on data from the national statistics crunchers Danmarks Statistik, showed that mothers who have their first child before turning 25 lose 2-2.5 years of their earnings compared to women of the same age who don’t have children.

“Our research shows that women who decide to have a child after turning 31 are the best performers in terms of lifetime earnings,” Fane Naja Groes, a professor at the Department of Economics at Copenhagen Business School and co-author of the project, told Videnskab.dk.

“The average wage for women is reduced in the years following the birth of their first child. This reduction is between 37 and 65 percent of wages earned before the first child and it takes the women six to eight year to recoup this temporary wage reduction.”

READ MORE: Danish women experience workplace discrimination in connection with pregnancy

Data from 1.5 million women
The findings showed that the women are hit by the reduction no matter their educational background.

Another interesting find was that university-educated women who have their first child after the age of 31 earn more during their lives than women who don’t have children at all.

The research focussed on wage earning data from 1.5 million women from 1995-2009 and whether they’ve had a child during the period.