Childlessness and Educational Homogamy in Couples. A Cohort Analysis Using Census Data in Hungary

Laura Szabó , Hungarian Demographic Research Institute
Zsuzsanna Makay, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute
Zsolt Spéder, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute

Definitive childlessness has risen over the last decades in Hungary and it was accompanied by educational expansion and a crucial change in partnership relations. We use census data to investigate changes in childlessness in two different Hungarian birth cohorts: one which made most of its fertility decisions before the political transition of 1989, and another which was intensively affected by it. When controlling association of current partnership and childlessness it becomes obvious that the increased proportion of 42-46 aged single man and women may be a strong driver of definitive childlessness. However, our main focus in the current analysis is on the educational differences within the couple and its relation to childlessness: is childlessness more recurrent in homogamous, hypergamous or hypogamous couples and how did the association change over time? Results show that in the younger cohort childlessness is more affected by educational differences in the couple than in the cohort born before the political transition. Besides, childlessness is the highest among couples in which educational differences of men and women are large: in cases where the women has only primary education while the men holds a university degree, the rate of childlessness is 29% and it is 16% when the opposite is true.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session Fertility, Family and the Life Course