A College Degree Equals Longer Single Life With No Kids, Study Says

Degree-holders were less likely to have kids and get married than those who didn't finish high school.

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Having a college degree appears to make you more likely to put off having children and stay single longer.

According to new data released by the National Center for Education Statistics on Thursday, bachelor's degree-holders were less likely to have children at a young age than those who didn't finish high school.

[READ: Twice as Many College Grads in Minimum Wage Jobs as 5 Years Ago]

The report is a first look in to the lives of a cohort of 2002 high school sophomores, 10 years later – when most were 26 years old, and those who entered college had graduated. About 88 percent of bachelor's degree recipients had no children in 2012, compared with 32 percent of those who did not complete high school.

And just 3 percent of those with at least a bachelor's degree had two or more children in 2012, compared with 44 percent of those with less than a high school diploma. Although there was a spike among those who had some postsecondary education, but no degree, the percentage of people without children tended to increase with educational attainment.

But it's not necessarily shocking that people delay getting married and having kids for college. According to the Population Reference Bureau, the average number of children for women between the ages of 40 and 44 was 1.7 for those who had received a bachelor's degree. But for those who didn't graduate high school, the average number of children in that age range was 2.5.

Additionally, the study found living with a partner was more common among less educated individuals than those with a college degree, which was also highlighted in the new NCES report.

[DEBATE CLUB: Is a College Degree Still Worth It?]

More than half of those who earned a bachelor's degree between 2002 and 2012 were single. Another 28 percent were married, and nearly 20 percent said they were "partnered" –living with a significant other in a marriage-like situation.

In contrast, people who didn't graduate high school were slightly less likely to be single than bachelor's degree-holders, and slightly more likely to be partnered. Nearly half (45 percent) of high school dropouts were single, while about 31 percent said they were partnered, and 24 percent said they were married. 

Finally, college graduates were more likely to get out of their parents' basements. More than two-thirds of bachelor's degree-holders were either living alone or with roommates in 2012, compared with less than 20 percent of high school dropouts.

While 18.5 percent of college grads said they still lived with their parents, more than one-quarter (28 percent) of people without a high school diploma did so as of 2012.

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