Family formation in France: between preferences and social constraints

Maria Rita Testa, Vienna Institute of Demography
Laurent Toulemon, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

In France, as in all European countries, the birth of the first child, last transition to adulthood, is delayed. In almost all European countries, fertility is declining at young ages - while rates are increasing at higher ages, when couples are already stable and other events of the transition to adulthood. An explicit intention to remain childless is almost not present as an answer to the questions on intended number of children, which indicates that childlessness is mainly involuntary. The aim of our paper is to study the transition to parenthood by looking at the childbearing outcomes depending on the stated fertility intentions and on several external constraints. Our research question is twofold: first, we want to investigate the short-term fertility intentions of childless people, and second, we want to test whether actual fertility varies with these fertility intentions, once socio-demographic and economic factors are controlled for.

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Presented in Poster Session 1

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