The impact of unemployment on women’s fertility

Previous research has highlighted the short-term impact between unemployment and women’s fertility. A new study conducted at Princeton University in the United States offers new information about this trend. The researchers found that women who were unemployed in their 20s tended to have fewer children than women who worked during that decade – a trend that appears to continue into women’s 40s.

The researchers reviewed more than 140 million birth records in the United States and found that:

“A one percentage point increase in the average unemployment rate experienced between the ages of 20 and 24 reduces the short-run fertility of women in this age range by six conceptions per 1,000 women…”

The long-term effect was found to be even greater. When these same women reached age 40, that figure rose to 14.2 fewer pregnancies per 1,000 women.

The researchers believe that their results can be explained by the fact that many women postpone having kids until they are more financially stable – and that likely takes longer for women who experienced a longer period of unemployment in their 20s – and the fact that more women are delaying childbearing and as a result are having fewer children or remaining childless.

Read more about the study here.


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