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'Feel good' factors and fertility

Nick Parr, Macquarie University

Are people who are more satisfied (“happier”?) with life more likely to have children? If so, is the relationship between satisfaction with life and fertility the product of satisfaction with particular domains of life? This paper investigates the interrelationships between fertility and satisfaction with life in general and with particular domains of life, using data are from 2,948 women and 2,622 men aged 15 to 44 years from a longitudinal survey of the household population in Australia. Preliminary results show that both for women and for men there is a strong positive relationship between satisfaction with life and subsequent fertility, with particularly low fertility among those with very low satisfaction scores. Fertility is also related to age, parity, marital status, education and birthplace. However scores for satisfaction with particular domains of life are not strong predictors of fertility. The interpretation and implications of these results are discussed.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Poster Session 2: fertility, family and children