Women spending longer in education and delaying motherhood, finds research at University of Southampton

More education meaning women keep putting off motherhood

More education meaning women keep putting off motherhood

First published in News

Women are having children later in life because they are spending longer in education , new research claimed today.

Academics from the University of Southampton looked at women in Britain and France and found that finishing full-time education and training at an older average age is the main reason why people are having their first child later in life.

Professor Maire Ni Bhrolchain, who conducted the study with Dr Eva Beaujouan, said: ''Later childbearing has been a major feature of fertility trends in recent decades, both in Britain and other developed countries.

''A large number of explanations have been suggested for the trend towards later parenthood, but our study is the first to show that the major influencing factor is that people have been staying on longer in education and training.''

The average age of a woman having her first child in 2004 was 27, three years later than in 1974, when the average age was 24, the researchers said.

During these three decades, young men and woman were progressively staying longer at school and also going into further and higher education in greater numbers - with women completing their education or training at an increasingly later age.

In the late 1970s, young women were leaving full-time education or training at an average age of 18, but by 2004 this had risen by two years to an average age of 20.

''The data we have examined shows that, in the past several decades, young people have been starting their full adult lives around two years later on average than in the recent past and this has meant family life starting later too,'' said Professor Ni Bhrolchain.

The Southampton study focused on the period between the early 1980s and the late 1990s, during which time the mean age of women having their first birth rose by almost one-and-a-half years.

During the same period, the time between women leaving full-time education and a first birth rose by only 0.6 years. This means that about three-fifths of the change in age at first birth in Britain is due to more time being spent in education and training. The figure is four-fifths in France.

So longer education and training is the most important explanation for later childbearing, although not the only one. There are other contributory factors, the study claimed.

Professor Ni Bhrolchain said: ''If we start the clock when young women leave full-time education or training, the delay to motherhood, compared across the decades, is much less than looking purely at the differences in their ages at their first birth.''

To investigate the study, the researchers compiled and analysed data in Britain from the General Household Survey and in France from the Family History Survey.

The study, called Fertility Postponement, is largely due to rising educational enrolment, is published in the journal Population Studies.

Comments (13)

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10:49am Mon 10 Sep 12

sotonwinch09 says...

Not in Eastleigh they're not!
Not in Eastleigh they're not! sotonwinch09
  • Score: 0

11:21am Mon 10 Sep 12

Dasal says...

Nor Southampton !!
Nor Southampton !! Dasal
  • Score: 0

11:49am Mon 10 Sep 12

localnews says...

Never read so much rubbish in my life,seems like one in three teenage girls have a kid nowadays......kids having kids
Never read so much rubbish in my life,seems like one in three teenage girls have a kid nowadays......kids having kids localnews
  • Score: 0

12:19pm Mon 10 Sep 12

George4th says...

It's not rocket science! More women are going into higher education and having careers - they are later in becoming a wage earner and establishing themselves.
>
If you add women's equality, career and aspirations (many now seek certain materiel assets as the norm) it is no wonder that they are delaying motherhood and/or having fewer children. (I'm not against it, I'm just saying! People are free to choose.)
It's not rocket science! More women are going into higher education and having careers - they are later in becoming a wage earner and establishing themselves. > If you add women's equality, career and aspirations (many now seek certain materiel assets as the norm) it is no wonder that they are delaying motherhood and/or having fewer children. (I'm not against it, I'm just saying! People are free to choose.) George4th
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Mon 10 Sep 12

southy says...

In very ealry 70's people was at full time work doing a 40 hour week at the age of 15 and 16.
In very ealry 70's people was at full time work doing a 40 hour week at the age of 15 and 16. southy
  • Score: 0

1:39pm Mon 10 Sep 12

Des Olated says...

"The Southampton study focused on the period between the early 1980s and the late 1990s, during which time the mean age of women having their first birth rose by almost one-and-a-half years"

So what's happened to birthing age in the last decade?

Oh, Southy, full time work at age 16 extended into the 80's at least. I was one straight into full time work @ 16
"The Southampton study focused on the period between the early 1980s and the late 1990s, during which time the mean age of women having their first birth rose by almost one-and-a-half years" So what's happened to birthing age in the last decade? Oh, Southy, full time work at age 16 extended into the 80's at least. I was one straight into full time work @ 16 Des Olated
  • Score: 0

2:05pm Mon 10 Sep 12

Shoong says...

southy wrote:
In very ealry 70's people was at full time work doing a 40 hour week at the age of 15 and 16.
Again, no evidence to back that up.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: In very ealry 70's people was at full time work doing a 40 hour week at the age of 15 and 16.[/p][/quote]Again, no evidence to back that up. Shoong
  • Score: 0

2:15pm Mon 10 Sep 12

Des Olated says...

Shoong wrote:
southy wrote:
In very ealry 70's people was at full time work doing a 40 hour week at the age of 15 and 16.
Again, no evidence to back that up.
Well, to be fair, Southy is correct as school leaving age was 16 and a lot, including myself went into full time work at age 16, although many of course went to college and uni.
The problem is, what the heck does his statement have to do with the story anyway?
Personally I suspect it's more down to access at earlier age to birth control but as I said it's already more than a decade out of date - what age is it NOW?.
[quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: In very ealry 70's people was at full time work doing a 40 hour week at the age of 15 and 16.[/p][/quote]Again, no evidence to back that up.[/p][/quote]Well, to be fair, Southy is correct as school leaving age was 16 and a lot, including myself went into full time work at age 16, although many of course went to college and uni. The problem is, what the heck does his statement have to do with the story anyway? Personally I suspect it's more down to access at earlier age to birth control but as I said it's already more than a decade out of date - what age is it NOW?. Des Olated
  • Score: 0

3:45pm Mon 10 Sep 12

southy says...

Des Olated wrote:
Shoong wrote:
southy wrote:
In very ealry 70's people was at full time work doing a 40 hour week at the age of 15 and 16.
Again, no evidence to back that up.
Well, to be fair, Southy is correct as school leaving age was 16 and a lot, including myself went into full time work at age 16, although many of course went to college and uni.
The problem is, what the heck does his statement have to do with the story anyway?
Personally I suspect it's more down to access at earlier age to birth control but as I said it's already more than a decade out of date - what age is it NOW?.
It was 15 when I left school and most on leaving school went to work, very few where lucky enough to be able to carry on to college or even on to uni. Those familys that could afford to let there kids carry on with education did so.

But thing is leaving school at that age you grew up very quickly, most between the age of 18 and 21 where married and starting a family.
[quote][p][bold]Des Olated[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: In very ealry 70's people was at full time work doing a 40 hour week at the age of 15 and 16.[/p][/quote]Again, no evidence to back that up.[/p][/quote]Well, to be fair, Southy is correct as school leaving age was 16 and a lot, including myself went into full time work at age 16, although many of course went to college and uni. The problem is, what the heck does his statement have to do with the story anyway? Personally I suspect it's more down to access at earlier age to birth control but as I said it's already more than a decade out of date - what age is it NOW?.[/p][/quote]It was 15 when I left school and most on leaving school went to work, very few where lucky enough to be able to carry on to college or even on to uni. Those familys that could afford to let there kids carry on with education did so. But thing is leaving school at that age you grew up very quickly, most between the age of 18 and 21 where married and starting a family. southy
  • Score: 0

3:59pm Mon 10 Sep 12

Shoong says...

southy wrote:
Des Olated wrote:
Shoong wrote:
southy wrote:
In very ealry 70's people was at full time work doing a 40 hour week at the age of 15 and 16.
Again, no evidence to back that up.
Well, to be fair, Southy is correct as school leaving age was 16 and a lot, including myself went into full time work at age 16, although many of course went to college and uni.
The problem is, what the heck does his statement have to do with the story anyway?
Personally I suspect it's more down to access at earlier age to birth control but as I said it's already more than a decade out of date - what age is it NOW?.
It was 15 when I left school and most on leaving school went to work, very few where lucky enough to be able to carry on to college or even on to uni. Those familys that could afford to let there kids carry on with education did so.

But thing is leaving school at that age you grew up very quickly, most between the age of 18 and 21 where married and starting a family.
Yep, that was in the past.

God forbid you should be able to comprehend the present.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Des Olated[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: In very ealry 70's people was at full time work doing a 40 hour week at the age of 15 and 16.[/p][/quote]Again, no evidence to back that up.[/p][/quote]Well, to be fair, Southy is correct as school leaving age was 16 and a lot, including myself went into full time work at age 16, although many of course went to college and uni. The problem is, what the heck does his statement have to do with the story anyway? Personally I suspect it's more down to access at earlier age to birth control but as I said it's already more than a decade out of date - what age is it NOW?.[/p][/quote]It was 15 when I left school and most on leaving school went to work, very few where lucky enough to be able to carry on to college or even on to uni. Those familys that could afford to let there kids carry on with education did so. But thing is leaving school at that age you grew up very quickly, most between the age of 18 and 21 where married and starting a family.[/p][/quote]Yep, that was in the past. God forbid you should be able to comprehend the present. Shoong
  • Score: 0

4:14pm Mon 10 Sep 12

Georgem says...

southy wrote:
Des Olated wrote:
Shoong wrote:
southy wrote:
In very ealry 70's people was at full time work doing a 40 hour week at the age of 15 and 16.
Again, no evidence to back that up.
Well, to be fair, Southy is correct as school leaving age was 16 and a lot, including myself went into full time work at age 16, although many of course went to college and uni.
The problem is, what the heck does his statement have to do with the story anyway?
Personally I suspect it's more down to access at earlier age to birth control but as I said it's already more than a decade out of date - what age is it NOW?.
It was 15 when I left school and most on leaving school went to work, very few where lucky enough to be able to carry on to college or even on to uni. Those familys that could afford to let there kids carry on with education did so.

But thing is leaving school at that age you grew up very quickly, most between the age of 18 and 21 where married and starting a family.
Things sure were different before these new-fangled changes.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Des Olated[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: In very ealry 70's people was at full time work doing a 40 hour week at the age of 15 and 16.[/p][/quote]Again, no evidence to back that up.[/p][/quote]Well, to be fair, Southy is correct as school leaving age was 16 and a lot, including myself went into full time work at age 16, although many of course went to college and uni. The problem is, what the heck does his statement have to do with the story anyway? Personally I suspect it's more down to access at earlier age to birth control but as I said it's already more than a decade out of date - what age is it NOW?.[/p][/quote]It was 15 when I left school and most on leaving school went to work, very few where lucky enough to be able to carry on to college or even on to uni. Those familys that could afford to let there kids carry on with education did so. But thing is leaving school at that age you grew up very quickly, most between the age of 18 and 21 where married and starting a family.[/p][/quote]Things sure were different before these new-fangled changes. Georgem
  • Score: 0

4:25pm Mon 10 Sep 12

freefinker says...

southy wrote:
Des Olated wrote:
Shoong wrote:
southy wrote:
In very ealry 70's people was at full time work doing a 40 hour week at the age of 15 and 16.
Again, no evidence to back that up.
Well, to be fair, Southy is correct as school leaving age was 16 and a lot, including myself went into full time work at age 16, although many of course went to college and uni.
The problem is, what the heck does his statement have to do with the story anyway?
Personally I suspect it's more down to access at earlier age to birth control but as I said it's already more than a decade out of date - what age is it NOW?.
It was 15 when I left school and most on leaving school went to work, very few where lucky enough to be able to carry on to college or even on to uni. Those familys that could afford to let there kids carry on with education did so.

But thing is leaving school at that age you grew up very quickly, most between the age of 18 and 21 where married and starting a family.
That’s not really how it was, is it southy?

Remember, you were probably in a Secondary Modern school, in which about 75% of kids were prepared for work at 15. The other 25% received a Grammar School education and most went on to further education.

What’s more, there were no university fees and students got grant for living expenses, so no problem with poverty preventing advancement.

You just tend to look at the past from your own isolated experience.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Des Olated[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: In very ealry 70's people was at full time work doing a 40 hour week at the age of 15 and 16.[/p][/quote]Again, no evidence to back that up.[/p][/quote]Well, to be fair, Southy is correct as school leaving age was 16 and a lot, including myself went into full time work at age 16, although many of course went to college and uni. The problem is, what the heck does his statement have to do with the story anyway? Personally I suspect it's more down to access at earlier age to birth control but as I said it's already more than a decade out of date - what age is it NOW?.[/p][/quote]It was 15 when I left school and most on leaving school went to work, very few where lucky enough to be able to carry on to college or even on to uni. Those familys that could afford to let there kids carry on with education did so. But thing is leaving school at that age you grew up very quickly, most between the age of 18 and 21 where married and starting a family.[/p][/quote]That’s not really how it was, is it southy? Remember, you were probably in a Secondary Modern school, in which about 75% of kids were prepared for work at 15. The other 25% received a Grammar School education and most went on to further education. What’s more, there were no university fees and students got grant for living expenses, so no problem with poverty preventing advancement. You just tend to look at the past from your own isolated experience. freefinker
  • Score: 0

11:37am Tue 11 Sep 12

southy says...

freefinker wrote:
southy wrote:
Des Olated wrote:
Shoong wrote:
southy wrote:
In very ealry 70's people was at full time work doing a 40 hour week at the age of 15 and 16.
Again, no evidence to back that up.
Well, to be fair, Southy is correct as school leaving age was 16 and a lot, including myself went into full time work at age 16, although many of course went to college and uni.
The problem is, what the heck does his statement have to do with the story anyway?
Personally I suspect it's more down to access at earlier age to birth control but as I said it's already more than a decade out of date - what age is it NOW?.
It was 15 when I left school and most on leaving school went to work, very few where lucky enough to be able to carry on to college or even on to uni. Those familys that could afford to let there kids carry on with education did so.

But thing is leaving school at that age you grew up very quickly, most between the age of 18 and 21 where married and starting a family.
That’s not really how it was, is it southy?

Remember, you were probably in a Secondary Modern school, in which about 75% of kids were prepared for work at 15. The other 25% received a Grammar School education and most went on to further education.

What’s more, there were no university fees and students got grant for living expenses, so no problem with poverty preventing advancement.

You just tend to look at the past from your own isolated experience.
No it was the same in Grammar school most left at the the age of 15, but in those days you could there was the jobs and aprenticeships out there in such numbers that not all the jobs got filled, you could leave a job in the morning and be in a new job in the afternoon with out prelooking for a new job before you left the old job, Thats how it really was.
You grew up very quickly on leaving school back then.
[quote][p][bold]freefinker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Des Olated[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: In very ealry 70's people was at full time work doing a 40 hour week at the age of 15 and 16.[/p][/quote]Again, no evidence to back that up.[/p][/quote]Well, to be fair, Southy is correct as school leaving age was 16 and a lot, including myself went into full time work at age 16, although many of course went to college and uni. The problem is, what the heck does his statement have to do with the story anyway? Personally I suspect it's more down to access at earlier age to birth control but as I said it's already more than a decade out of date - what age is it NOW?.[/p][/quote]It was 15 when I left school and most on leaving school went to work, very few where lucky enough to be able to carry on to college or even on to uni. Those familys that could afford to let there kids carry on with education did so. But thing is leaving school at that age you grew up very quickly, most between the age of 18 and 21 where married and starting a family.[/p][/quote]That’s not really how it was, is it southy? Remember, you were probably in a Secondary Modern school, in which about 75% of kids were prepared for work at 15. The other 25% received a Grammar School education and most went on to further education. What’s more, there were no university fees and students got grant for living expenses, so no problem with poverty preventing advancement. You just tend to look at the past from your own isolated experience.[/p][/quote]No it was the same in Grammar school most left at the the age of 15, but in those days you could there was the jobs and aprenticeships out there in such numbers that not all the jobs got filled, you could leave a job in the morning and be in a new job in the afternoon with out prelooking for a new job before you left the old job, Thats how it really was. You grew up very quickly on leaving school back then. southy
  • Score: 0

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