Uncertainty in fertility intentions in Britain, 1979-2007

Ní Bhrolcháin, Máire and Beaujouan, Éva (2012) Uncertainty in fertility intentions in Britain, 1979-2007. Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 99-129. (doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2011s99).


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The paper uses a time series of repeated rounds of the General Household Survey in Great Britain to study uncertainty in fertility intentions. We show that a substantial minority of women are uncertain in their expectations about future childbearing. A comparison of reported uncertainty in GHS rounds 1979-1990 with 1991-2007 reveals that the estimated level of uncertainty is influenced by question format. At the individual level, uncertainty varies largely with demographic status and life stage-age, partnership status, parity and time since previous birth. Evidence from qualitative and quantitative studies, particularly in relation to pregnancy intentions, reinforces the reality of uncertainty about reproductive prospects. We suggest that the measurement of fertility intentions needs improvement. A new theoretical approach of fertility intentions is outlined in brief

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2011s99
ISSNs: 1728-4414 (print)
1728-5303 (electronic)
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Social Statistics
ePrint ID: 194003
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
February 2012Published
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2011 10:58
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:43
Centre for Population Change: Understanding Population Change in the 21st Century
Funded by: ESRC National Centre for Research Methods (RES-625-28-0001)
Led by: Jane Cecelia Falkingham
1 January 2009 to 31 December 2013
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/194003

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