Latest‐Late Fertility? Decline and Resurgence of Late Parenthood Across the Low‐Fertility Countries

Eva Beaujouan

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

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After decades of fertility postponement, we investigate recent changes in late parenthood
across low-fertility countries in the light of observations from the past. We use
long series of age-specific fertility rates from the Human Fertility Database (1950–
2016) for women, and new data covering the period 1990–2016 for men. In 1950,
the contribution of births at age 40 and over to female fertility rates ranged from
2.5 to 9 percent, but then fell sharply until the 1980s. From the 1990s, however, the
prevalence of late first births increased rapidly, especially so in countries where it was
initially lowest. This has produced a late fertility rebound in the last two decades, occurring
much faster for women than for men. Comparisons between recent and past
extremely late (age 48+) fertility levels confirm that people are now challenging the
natural fertility barriers, particularly for a first child.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-247
JournalPopulation and Development Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

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