Which Women Stop at One Child? Evidence from Australia

Nick Parr, Macquarie University

The decline in fertility in Australia in the 1990s reflected both decreased first order birth rates and decreased second order birth rates. Whilst childlessness has been studied extensively, little attention has been paid to the progression from one to two children. This study analyses which women with parity one do not progress to parity two, using data from 1809 parous 40-54 year olds from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey. A woman’s birthplace, highest level and type of schooling, her father’s occupation, and the intactness of her parents’ relationship are shown to be important early lifecourse predictors of whether a she stops her childbearing at one child. A woman’s age at first birth, marital status, health, occupation, labour force participation and attitudes to religion and to leisure activities are shown to be significant later life correlates of her progression to a second birth.

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Presented in Poster Session 7