Women's Education and Cohort Fertility during the Baby Boom
2015 (English)In: Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America 2015: Presented in Session 48. Families and Households in Comparative and Historical Perspective, San Diego, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
While today, women exceed men in terms of participation in advanced education, female enrollment rates beyond primary education were still very low in the first half of the 20th century. In many Western countries, this started to change around mid-century, with the proportion of women obtaining a degree in secondary education and beyond increasing steadily. The expected implication of rising female education was fertility decline andthepostponement of motherhood. Yet, many countries experienced declining ages at first birth and increasing total fertility instead. How can we reconcile these fertility trends with women’s increasing participation in education? Using census and large survey data for the USA and fourteen European countries, this paper analyzes trends in cohort fertility underlying the Baby Boom and how they relate to women’s educational attainment. The focus is on quantum components of cohort fertility and parity progression, and their association with the age at first childbearing. We find that progression to higher parities continued to decline in all countries, in line with fertility transition trends that started back in the nineteenth century. However, in countries experiencing a Baby Boom, this was more than compensated by decreasing childlessness and parity progression after the first child, particularly among women with education beyond the primary level. As a result, the proportions having exactly two children went up steadily in all countries and all educational groups.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
San Diego, 2015.
Baby boom, Europe
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject Sociology; History
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-103643OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-103643DiVA: diva2:814072
Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America 2015, San Diego, CA, April 30-May2