Education and fertility in Europe in the last decade: A review of the literature
Coherent Identifier 20.500.12592/3cg6vf

Education and fertility in Europe in the last decade: A review of the literature

11 July 2022


Studies have disentangled the effect of timing from quantum effects and note that the expansion of education can explain almost three-fifths of postponement effects in the last two decades of the twentieth century in Britain and almost four-fifths in France. [...] For the Nordic countries, it seems that this convergence is not so much due to reductions in the proportion of the childless among the highly-educated but due to higher decline in cohort total fertility for the low- educated women in Denmark and stabilization in Sweden and Norway (Jalovaara et al. [...] These effects are not uniform across Europe underlining the relevance of contextual analysis while studying partnerships and fertility, and although there is a negative association between education and first births in the UK and Netherlands, they find a positive gradient in Norway, Romania, Russia, Sweden, and the Czech Republic, and a curvilinear relationship in Italy. [...] DISCUSSION This paper is motivated by the dramatic expansion in educational enrolment and attainment and the fertility fluctuations observed in Europe over the last few decades, along with the onset of key societal changes, such as the gender revolution and economic recessions. [...] Although there has been noteworthy progress in understanding the association between fertility and fields of study, types of enrolment, and dual-status positions; this strand of work focused on the timing of entry to motherhood and seldom studied the quantum effects of enrolment on fertility, particularly for higher-order births.

Published in
United Kingdom