Later or Never? Partnership and Parenthood Experiences in Later Reproductive Ages in a Comparative Perspective

Julia Mikolai, University of Southampton

Using data from the Harmonised Histories, I study the influence of partnership histories on the probability of becoming a parent by age 40 for the 1960-1969 cohort in a cross-national context. We first examine the probability of men and women of having achieved parenthood by age 40 having experienced certain union events by this age (“backward looking” approach). Then, using a multistate framework, we provide an innovative way to understand how different partnership histories at ages 30 and 35 shape people’s probabilities of achieving parenthood by age 40 (“forward looking” approach). We find that in most countries people who experienced cohabitation before marriage by ages 30 or 35 have the highest probability of achieving a birth by age 40, followed by the directly married, the cohabiters and the never partnered. We did not find an East-West divide in these patterns.

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Presented in Session 189: Life Course Perspectives on Fertility