Friday, July 20, 2007

Decrease in Aussie Marriage Linked to Decrease in Childbearing

Australians swap I do for I don't
Dr Birrell says the social relationship for a female in a couple family — marriage or de facto status — is an important indication of fertility levels.

The data shows striking differences between fertility of wives — who have more children — and live-in partners, which suggest a different calibre of relationship might be struck in those relationships.

Between 40 and 44, nearly a quarter of women in de facto relationships, for example, had no children. Only 8 per cent of wives in this category, however, were childless and this was likely to reflect infertility rather than choice, according to the research.

It also shows that despite recent increases in birth numbers and debate about a "mini baby boom", there is still a long-term decline in the mean number of children born per woman across the reproductive years. Two children remain the common number per woman.
I'm rooting around in the original report and attempting to find their source for the claim that childlessness in marriage is due to infertility, not choice. Since I doubt it is possible that Aussies are not part of the growing number of childless-by-choice, (No Kidding! has a chapter there) is it possible that childfree Aussies are simply skipping marriage? I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, shout-out to my favourite childfree, marriage-free Aussie. (she knows who she is)

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