Contradicting Past Assumptions: Why Higher Education Doesn’t Necessarily Promote Family Formation in Men


Increasing education did not lead to higher numbers of male offspring

A study conducted by the Institute for Economic Research has revealed that while women with advanced education are more likely to have a spouse and children by the age of 37, men with higher education do not necessarily promote family formation. This finding contradicts past assumptions and there is no clear explanation for it.

According to the research, both highly educated women and men are more likely to have families compared to those with secondary education or lower. However, educational attainment was not found to have a significant impact on men’s likelihood of having children. The study suggests that men who pursue higher education may postpone having children until a later age without considering fertility, or may face barriers such as health concerns that prevent them from starting a family.

On the other hand, highly educated women are perceived as more desirable reproductive partners due to their advanced skills and abilities, which may contribute to their higher likelihood of having children. Additionally, flexible jobs that better accommodate family needs may also play a role in increasing the number of children for highly educated women.

The study emphasizes that its findings should not be generalized to all educated and uneducated people, but it can offer insight for decision-making aimed at increasing the birth rate by making education more accessible. The study was part of the Lifecon project funded by the Strategic Research Council, which aims to provide decision-makers with information on the causes, consequences, and solutions of demographic change.

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