Volume 14 - Article 16 | Pages 381-404

Educational attainment and ultimate fertility among Swedish women born in 1955-59

By Jan M. Hoem, Gerda Neyer, Gunnar Andersson

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Date received:13 Mar 2006
Date published:12 May 2006
Word count:6411
Keywords:education, fertility, Sweden
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This is the second of two companion papers addressing the association between educational attainment and fertility for some sixty educational groups of Swedish women, defined according to field of education as well as level of education. The first paper is about childlessness and education, the present one about the mean number of children ever born. We find that ultimate fertility decreases somewhat with an increasing educational level, but its dependence on the field of education is much more impressive. In general, educational groups with relatively little childlessness also have relatively high ultimate fertility, and educational groups with much childlessness have relatively low ultimate fertility. In particular, women educated for the teaching or health-care professions have less childlessness and a higher ultimate fertility than others.
Conversely, women with an education for esthetic or (non-teacher) humanist occupations have unusually high fractions childless and low ultimate fertility. Women with religious educations stand out by having very high fractions childless but quite ordinary mean ultimate fertility nevertheless; such women have very little childbearing outside of marriage. Women with research degrees have remarkably ordinary childbearing behavior; they do not forego motherhood to the extent that some theories would predict.

Author's Affiliation

Jan M. Hoem - Stockholm University, Sweden [Email]
Gerda Neyer - Stockholm University, Sweden [Email]
Gunnar Andersson - Stockholm University, Sweden [Email]

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