Fertility after Divorce in Belgium

Belinda Wijckmans, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Martine Corijn, Research Centre of the Flemish Government

On the aggregate country level, the correlation between total divorce and fertility rates has turned positive since the 1990s in Europe. Still, earlier research with individual level data has indicated that the cumulative number of births is lower, on average, for people who stay in their first marriage compared to divorced people. Earlier research has also clearly shown that the repartnering plays a crucial role, with people entering a second formal marriage typically having higher post-divorce fertility than people who choose to cohabit. This paper investigates educational differentials in fertility of higher order unions compared to first marriages in Belgium. To this end, we use the new, high quality survey on Divorce in Flanders to investigate age- and parity-specific fertility rates by level of education and partnership history (N= about 2000 men and about 2000 women). We investigate the parenthood, sibling status, and partnership commitment hypothesis.

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Presented in Session 189: Life Course Perspectives on Fertility