The increase in nonmarital childbearing across Europe: convergence or divergence in the educational gradient?

Brienna Perelli-Harris, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Wendy Sigle-Rushton, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Trude LappegÄrd, Statistics Norway
Renske Keizer, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)

This study takes a cross-national comparative approach to analyzing the educational gradient of nonmarital childbearing in Europe. Using the Generations and Generation Survey or similar nationally representative surveys, we compare Norway, the Netherlands, Russia and the United Kingdom. Initially, we analyze descriptive statistics, focusing on the distribution of births by union status (marriage, cohabitation, or single) and educational level. We then develop competing risk hazard models to analyze how nonmarital childbearing develops over time in each country. These analyses will show whether the increase in nonmarital childbearing is related to lower education, similar to the pattern of disadvantage in the United States, or higher education, which can be considered a proxy for the underlying causes of the Second Demographic Transition.

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Presented in Session 67: Transitions in family life: new links of nuptiality and fertility