A paper examined the relationship between women's education and lifetime fertility intentions in Europe. A positive association between women's level of education and lifetime fertility intentions existed at both the individual and country levels, as well as in a micro-macro integrated framework. This association was, however, not responsive to country differences in terms of childcare services, gender equality, and economic conditions. The main explanation was that when policies and institutional contexts allowed highly educated women to have larger families, women of reproductive ages were more prone to make investments in both human capital and family size, because these choices were not seen as incompatible alternatives.
Source: Maria Rita Testa, Women's Fertility Intentions and Level of Education: Why are they positively correlated in Europe?, European Demographic Research Papers 3, Vienna Institute of Demography
A paper examined the effect of family systems on people's fertility behaviour in Europe, from a social network perspective.
Source: Bastian Moenkediek and Hilde Bras, Family Systems, Welfare Regimes and Fertility Behavior in Contemporary Europe from a Social Network Perspective, Department of History, Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands)
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An article examined how occupational prospects affected first-birth decisions of men and women in Germany and the United Kingdom. It considered how welfare state alignment affected fertility rationales in the context of either promising or bleak occupational prospects. The results showed that welfare state orientations influenced work-family choices, leading to a delay of family formation among British and German women with a close labour market attachment. Furthermore, a lengthy process of occupational integration tended to hamper the transition to parenthood among both men and women, and particularly in Germany.
Source: Christian Schmitt, 'Labour market integration, occupational uncertainties, and fertility choices in Germany and the UK', Demographic Research, Volume 26
A paper examined different family size preferences in European countries and their link with actual fertility. It was found that around 30 per cent of women and men ended their reproductive career with fewer children than they had previously considered ideal, and that the difference between their mean ideal and actual family size was around 0.3 children. The people who were most optimistic about both their own life and their country's socio-economic situation were, on the one hand, childless persons and, on the other, those who had or would like to have large families with three or more children. This result, which contained an intrinsic contradiction, needed to be studied more thoroughly in further research.
Source: Maria Rita Testa, Family Sizes in Europe: Evidence from the 2011 Eurobarometer Survey, European Demographic Research Papers 2-2012, Vienna Institute of Demography
An article examined the increase in the period total fertility rate in Europe between 1998 and 2008. It said that the increase was largely explained by a decline in the pace of fertility postponement.
Source: John Bongaarts and Tomas Sobotka, 'A demographic explanation for the recent rise in European fertility', Population and Development Review, Volume 38 Issue 1
See also: John Bongaarts and Tomas Sobotka, Demographic Explanation for the Recent Rise in European Fertility: Analysis based on the tempo and parity-adjusted total fertility, European Demographic Research Papers 4, Vienna Institute of Demography
A paper examined the role of states and regions in shaping spatial patterns of non-marital fertility in Europe. Variation in non-marital fertility levels had increased as a whole across Europe, and states continued to be important for determining these patterns. But the role of states relative to regions had declined in the latest period examined (1990-2007). Possible explanations for the changes included increased supranational integration, for example within the European Union, and decentralization within states leading to increases in variation in subnational contextual conditions.
Source: Sebastian Klusener, Brienna Perelli-Harris, and Nora Sanchez Gassen, Spatial Aspects of the Rise of Nonmarital Fertility Across Europe Since 1960: The role of states and regions in shaping patterns of change, Working Paper 2012-005, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (Rostock, Germany)
A paper introduced a collection of studies on how various dimensions of employment uncertainty, such as temporary working contracts and individual and aggregate unemployment, were related to the fertility and family formation of women and men in contexts across Europe.
Source: Michaela Kreyenfeld, Gunnar Andersson, and Ariane Pailhe, Economic Uncertainty and Family Dynamics in Europe, Working Paper 2012-006, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (Rostock, Germany)
An article linked maternity hospital episode statistics (HES) data for 2007 to birth registration and National Health Service numbers for babies (NN4B) data to bring together some key demographic and clinical data items not otherwise available at a national level. Nearly one-third of all linked HES records for singleton babies had one or more of the following data items missing: birth weight, gestational age, birth status, sex, and date of birth of the baby. On the other hand, for data items where information was stated, such as birth weight, birth status, and sex for singleton babies, there was good agreement between HES and linked birth registration and NN4B data. The linkage rate for 2007 was slightly higher than for the two previous years: but data were more incomplete. To gain maximum benefit from this linkage, improvements were urgently needed in the quality and completeness of the data contained in HES data.
Source: Nirupa Dattani, Preeti Datta-Nemdharry, and Alison Macfarlane, 'Linking maternity data for England 2007: methods and data quality', Health Statistics Quarterly 53, Spring 2012, Office for National Statistics
A paper examined the continent-wide increase in the period total fertility rate experienced by European countries between 1998 and 2008. The upturn could largely be explained by a decline in the pace of fertility postponement and the resulting reduction in 'tempo' distortions.
Source: John Bongaarts and Tomas Sobotka, Demographic Explanation for the Recent Rise in European Fertility: Analysis based on the tempo and parity-adjusted total fertility, European Demographic Research Papers 4, Vienna Institute of Demography