Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Report
Title Childlessness trends in twentieth-century Europe: Limited link to growing educational attainment
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL http://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/126219/1/833265830.pdf
Childlessness, a driving force of fertility, has undergone strong variations in 20th-century
Europe, and educational attainment has been rising continuously. We analyse how these
two factors were related to each other over time. Our study is based on census and largescale
survey data from 13 European countries, collected in the Cohort Fertility and
Education database. We compare the trends in the share of women childless at age 40+ in
the 1916–1965 birth cohorts, by level of education. The results suggest that the changes in
the educational composition of the population were only marginally related to the overall
variation in childlessness rates. With time, the positive educational gradient in
childlessness usually decreased: the differences between women of medium/high education
and low educated women diminished. However, the childlessness ratio between highly and
medium educated women remained stable in Western and Southern Europe and even
slightly increased in the East.

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