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Rising educational participation and the trend to later childbearing

Neels, Karel, Murphy, Michael J., Ní Bhrolcháin, Máire and Beaujouan, Éva (2017) Rising educational participation and the trend to later childbearing. Population and Development Review, 43 (4). 667 - 693. ISSN 0098-7921

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Identification Number: 10.1111/padr.12112


How far can the shift to later childbearing in developed countries be accounted for by the growth in educational participation? A move to later childbearing has been a conspicuous feature of fertility trends in developed countries for many decades, and over that same period educational participation rates have risen substantially (OECD 2014, 2016a). The rising age at birth is often described as fertility postponement and is primarily due to a progressively later start to childbearing. Fewer women have been starting a family in their teens and early 20s and more have been delaying the start of parenthood to their late 20s and 30s (d'Addio and Mira d'Ercole 2005; OECD 2016b). The consequence is a decline in the first birth rates of childless women at younger ages, followed, in most cases, by a rise in parity-specific rates at older ages, resulting in a general shift up the age scale in the timetable of parenthood. In the West, the mean age at first birth began rising in the 1970s; in Eastern Europe, the trend began in the 1990s, following political and societal transformation (see Figures 1a and 1b). Later childbearing is emerging more recently as a feature of population trends in Southeast Asia and Latin America (Rosero-Bixby et al. 2009; Frejka et al. 2010).

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors CC-BY-NC-ND
Divisions: Social Policy
LSE Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2017 10:13
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2024 05:45
Projects: 284238 (EURREP), G012011N
Funders: Seventh Framework Programme., Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek

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