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Childlessness in the UK

Childlessness in the UK
Childlessness in the UK
Levels of childlessness in Britain are higher than in many other European countries, with just under one in five British women currently reaching age 45 with no biological children of her own. This chapter provides new insights in two ways. First, by combining childbearing data from repeated rounds of the General Household Survey and the United Kingdom Household Panel Survey the chapter examines how the educational gradient of childlessness has changed over birth cohorts. Second, the chapter investigates childlessness from a life course perspective among men and women born in 1970 who were followed up within the British Cohort Study. Focusing on cohort members who were childless at age 30, the relationship between fertility intentions expressed at age 30 and achieved childbearing by age 42 is examined. At age 42, the male and female respondents who remained childless were invited to give their reasons for remaining childless. Some reported that they did not have children “due to health reasons”, many more responded that they “did not ever want children”, while others said that they had “not met the right partner to have children with”. Only a few suggested that they “had been focused on their career”. We examine these responses in the context of the individuals’ partnership histories, and contribute to the debate on the question of whether the “perpetual postponement” of childbearing to later ages is acting to increase the proportion of the population who ultimately remain childless.
childlessness, postponement childbearing, involuntary childless
1-33
Springer
Berrington, Ann
bd0fc093-310d-4236-8126-ca0c7eb9ddde
Konietzka, Dirk
8378f27d-0613-42f1-ad8a-02afe9e48bd1
Kreyenfeld, Michaela
Berrington, Ann
bd0fc093-310d-4236-8126-ca0c7eb9ddde
Konietzka, Dirk
8378f27d-0613-42f1-ad8a-02afe9e48bd1
Kreyenfeld, Michaela

Berrington, Ann and Konietzka, Dirk (2017) Childlessness in the UK. In, Kreyenfeld, Michaela (ed.) Childlessness in Europe: Patterns, Causes and Contexts. (Demographic Research Monographs, , (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-44667-7_3)) Berlin, DE. Springer, pp. 1-33. (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-44667-7_3).

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

Levels of childlessness in Britain are higher than in many other European countries, with just under one in five British women currently reaching age 45 with no biological children of her own. This chapter provides new insights in two ways. First, by combining childbearing data from repeated rounds of the General Household Survey and the United Kingdom Household Panel Survey the chapter examines how the educational gradient of childlessness has changed over birth cohorts. Second, the chapter investigates childlessness from a life course perspective among men and women born in 1970 who were followed up within the British Cohort Study. Focusing on cohort members who were childless at age 30, the relationship between fertility intentions expressed at age 30 and achieved childbearing by age 42 is examined. At age 42, the male and female respondents who remained childless were invited to give their reasons for remaining childless. Some reported that they did not have children “due to health reasons”, many more responded that they “did not ever want children”, while others said that they had “not met the right partner to have children with”. Only a few suggested that they “had been focused on their career”. We examine these responses in the context of the individuals’ partnership histories, and contribute to the debate on the question of whether the “perpetual postponement” of childbearing to later ages is acting to increase the proportion of the population who ultimately remain childless.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 13 January 2017
Published date: 13 January 2017
Keywords: childlessness, postponement childbearing, involuntary childless
Organisations: Social Statistics & Demography

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 379382
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/379382
PURE UUID: 4b4254d2-606f-464c-96bf-21b162b2f175

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Date deposited: 31 Jul 2015 10:32
Last modified: 23 Apr 2018 16:31

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Contributors

Author: Ann Berrington
Author: Dirk Konietzka
Editor: Michaela Kreyenfeld

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