According to a study published by the Institute for Economic Research, women with advanced education are more likely to marry and have children by the age of 37. On the other hand, the research shows that for men, a higher level of education does not necessarily promote family formation. This result contrasts with past assumptions and there is no solid explanation for it.
The study indicates that both highly educated women and men are more likely to have a spouse and children compared to those with secondary education or lower. While educated women and men have families more often, the latter group still has families more often than those with just primary school education. Despite these findings, there is limited information about the cause and effect relationships.
The study reiterates that men with higher education have significantly higher income levels, but this did not affect their likelihood of having children. The research attributes the increase in the number of children for educated women to the more flexible jobs that better accommodate family needs. Additionally, educated women may also be perceived as more desirable reproductive partners due to their advanced skills and abilities.
When it comes to men, the research shows that educational attainment was not found to have a significant impact on their likelihood of having children. The study suggests that the reason behind this could be that men who pursue higher education may postpone having children until a later age without considering fertility. Additionally, men with lower educational attainment may have barriers to starting a family that education cannot solve, such as health concerns.
The study emphasizes that its findings should not be generalized to all educated and uneducated people. But with its relevance to the general population, it can offer insight for decision-making aimed at increasing the birth rate by making education more accessible. The study was part of the Lifecon project funded by the Strategic Research Council, which aims to provide decision-makers with information on the causes, consequences, and solutions of demographic change.