“The child of last chance”: the role of biological clock in fertility timing in France, Germany and Italy

Eva Beaujouan, Centre for Population Change (CPC)
Anne Solaz, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

Fertility behaviours vary widely within Europe. France, Germany and Italy represent three tendencies concerning childbearing: in France a high fertility level although a postponement of first conception, with a two-children ideal family size; in Germany a very low fertility level linked to a polarization of fertility behaviours (zero or two children); in Italy a low fertility level due to the very late entry into adulthood, and frequent one-child families. The delay of fertility timing may constrain the childbearing strategies since unfecundability sharply increase in female age. In France, women in second unions accelerate childbearing in order to have children before they become sterile. Do we observe the same phenomenon for all the people who form a first union late? Do people accelerate their childbearing as soon as they reach later ages? We expect country specific impact of sterility given their different first birth timing and social norms.

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Presented in Session 28: Timing of childbearing