On Average, Women in Rural Areas Start Having Sex Earlier and Have More Kids


According to new numbers from the CDC, women in rural areas—on average—have sexual intercourse slightly earlier than their urban counterparts. They also tend—again, on average—to have more children. Well, there are a lot of country songs about the good times down by the river in the moonlight.

The Daily Mail, surely not trying to stir shit here, points to findings from the CDC, specifically a deep dive on “Urban and Rural Variation in Fertility-related Behavior Among U.S. Women” between 2011 and 2015.

According to the study, “Among women aged 18–44, the average age at first sexual intercourse was younger for women living in rural areas (16.6) compared with women living in urban areas (17.4).” Also, “By age 18, 79.6% of women living in rural areas had ever had sexual intercourse, which is higher than the percentage for women living in urban areas (68.6%).” It’s important to note, however, that if you dig down into the “definitions” section of the report, “age of first sexual intercourse” specifically “indicates the age the respondent first reported having vaginal sexual intercourse with a male partner,” which cuts out a lot of ways that people experience sex.

The study also revealed that, while a bigger share of women in rural areas used “one of the most effective methods of contraception (e.g., contraceptive sterilization or intrauterine device)”—40.8 percent to 30.4 percent—“A higher percentage of women living in urban areas had no births (41.6%) compared with women living in rural areas (30.3%)” and “the average number of births among women aged 18–44 living in rural areas (1.56) was higher than the average for women in urban areas (1.28).” It’s therefore interesting to look at this 2017 writeup from the USDA on their routine survey of the costs of raising a child:

Families in the urban Northeast spent the most on a child, followed by families in the urban West, urban South, and urban Midwest. Families in rural areas throughout the country spent the least on a child—child-rearing expenses were 27% lower in rural areas than the urban Northeast, primarily due to lower housing and child care/education expenses.

In short: cities are damned expensive and eventually practically everyone everywhere gets to humping (though it might not look the way the CDC suggests it does).

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