Publication

Three facets of planning and postponement of parenthood in the Netherlands

Verweij, R., Mills, M., Snieder, H. & Stulp, G., 1-Sep-2020, In : Demographic Research. 43, p. 659-671 13 p., 23.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

BACKGROUND

The age at parenthood has risen by about five years in the last decades in the Netherlands. Previous studies typically focused on the age at which people have their first child, but little is known about desired timing of parenthood and how this desire changes.

OBJECTIVE

In this study, we examined three facets of postponement: (1) desired age to have a first child, (2) changes in this desired age, and (3) whether the desires are met.

METHODS

We use data from the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences (N = 2,296), which is a representative sample of men and women in the Netherlands who have been followed for up to ten years.

RESULTS

Men and women desire to have children at relatively high ages, i.e., around age 30. About half of the respondents update these desires by increasing the desired age as they get older. Half of respondents do not become a parent at their desired time.

CONCLUSIONS

The high ages at first birth observed are due to a combination of the three facets of postponement.

CONTRIBUTION

This study contributes to the literature by showing that the high observed age at which people have children nowadays is due to high desired ages, updating these desires upwards, and not achieving their desired timing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23
Pages (from-to)659-671
Number of pages13
JournalDemographic Research
Volume43
Publication statusPublished - 1-Sep-2020

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