A paper examined the relationship between childlessness and full marital and cohabitational histories, using data from the British Household Panel Study. For women (and men) who had completed their childbearing, childlessness was found to be associated with the number of cohabitations that the respondent had had, and whether the most recent, or current, partnership was a cohabitation. The proportions of men and women who were childless among those whose first partnership had been a cohabitation were at least double those in cases where the first partnership had been a marriage. In every partnership combination examined, cohabitation was associated with a higher prevalence of childlessness.
Source: John Haskey, Childlessness, Cohabitation and Partnership History in Great Britain, Working Paper 62, Oxford Centre for Population Research
The population of the United Kingdom was estimated to be 63.7 million in mid-2012, up from 63.3 million in mid-2011. This represented a growth of 419,900 (0.7 per cent). There were 813,200 births – the largest number since 1972. Net immigration of 165,600 accounted for 39 per cent of the population increase. The absolute increase in population of the UK was greater than that of any other European Union member state during the period.
Source: Annual Mid-year Population Estimates, 2011 and 2012, Office for National Statistics
An article examined whether gender equality mattered for fertility in European countries. It said that gender equality needed to be conceptualized in a way that allowed for a distinction between gender difference and gender inequality. There was no uniform effect of gender equality on childbearing intentions.
Source: Gerda Neyer, Trude Lappegard, and Daniele Vignoli, 'Gender equality and fertility: which equality matters?', European Journal of Population, Volume 29 Number 3
A think-tank report said that single-child parents should be more confident about the potential benefits of expanding their family, and not be put off by exaggerated warnings about the costs. Children with siblings tended to be healthier, happier, and more well-rounded. More account should be taken of the 'economies of scale' produced by siblings – such as handed-down equipment and shared holidays.
Source: Colin Brazier (with Therese Wallin), Sticking up for Siblings: Who's deciding the size of Britain's families?, Civitas
An article examined why large parts of Europe had apparently decided to commit 'demographic suicide' through low fertility rates.
Source: Lant Pritchett and Martina Viarengo, 'Why demographic suicide? The puzzles of European fertility', Population and Development Review, Volume 38 Issue Supplement S1