Childlessness in later ages in Portugal and in the southern European countries

Rita Freitas, Universidade de Évora
Andréia B. F. Maciel, Universidade de Évora
Maria Mendes, Universidade de Évora

It is argued that parenthood is no longer a basic condition to achieve self-realization and that the choice of a life without children has become an increasingly common choice, free of stereotypes, transforming the desired and ideal family size in one of the most important determinants of fertility. It is also important to recognize the importance of educational level and employment status in the choice of a childfree life. Whereas the current fertility decline is, in large part, the result of the postponement of parenthood (a phenomenon that has been growing over the last decades), we look at those individuals who have reached their 30’s without children and try to define the most likely profile of remaining childlessness. In order to examine and quantify the effect of the characteristics that make the residents in the Southern Europe remain childlessness, we adjusted two logistic regression models, using data from the 2011 Eurobarometer and the Fertility Survey in Portugal, 2013. To adjust these models, we considered the response variable defined as: 0- temporary childlessness; 1- permanent childlessness. We conclude that the increase in age, the lack of a suitable partner and a low ideal family size are the most important determinants to remain childlessness. Additionally, we find that those who live in large cities are also more likely to not experience parenthood. Because individuals with lower educational levels tend to make earlier transition to parenthood, when they reach their 30’s without children they become more likely to remain childless. At the country level, the Greeks show lower possibilities to remain childlessness relatively to the Portuguese, Spanish and Italians. In Portugal, those who think that parenthood is not a basic condition for achieving self-realization and men that don't have a full time job are also more likely to remain childlessness.

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Presented in Session 112: Childlessness