Abstract

Rendall M, Smallwood S. Higher qualifications, first birth timing, and further childbearing in England and Wales. Population Trends 2003; 111 (Spring): 18-26.

This article examines how strong the association is between the obtaining of higher educational qualifications and later entry to motherhood, and how these are associated with levels and pace of second and subsequent childbearing. Data from the ONS Longitudinal Study are used to estimate these associations for women born in England and Wales between 1954 and 1958. Average age of entry to motherhood is found to be five years later for women with higher qualifications than for those without . Increasing age of motherhood is always associated with a lower likelihood of going on to have another child, but the decline with age is less pronounced for women with a higher qualification. Moreover, for any given age of childbearing, mothers with a higher qualification are more likely than those without to have another child, and are more likely to do so quickly.