Reversals, Diminishing Differentials, or Stable Pattern? Long-Term Trends in Educational Gradients in Fertility across the Developed Countries
Eva Beaujouan, Vienna Institute of Demography
Zuzanna Brzozowska, Vienna Institute of Demography
Tomáš Sobotka, Vienna Institute of Demography
Our analysis reveals a great variety in educational gradients of fertility. There does not seem to exist a general tendency for fertility gradients to diminish when family size declines to low levels. The gap between low-educated women and all the others largely diminished with time, but in some countries is started to grow again in the 1960s cohorts. Generally, low-educated women typically still have considerably more children than medium- and high-educated women. As research on fertility ideals and intentions among women reveals that in Europe and the United States they do not significantly differ by education in most low-fertility countries, our findings might suggest that education differentials in fertility signal “excess” unplanned fertility among the lower educated women rather than unrealised fertility intentions among the higher educated women.
Presented in Session 111: Education and Fertility