Emma Xiaolu Zang, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Sociology, Yale University New Haven, CT

College Educated Generation-Xers Increasingly Having Three Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Emma Xiaolu Zang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology, Yale University
New Haven, CT

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In the past decade, Generation Xers—individuals born between the early or mid-1960s and early 1980s—have outnumbered Baby Boomers (i.e. individuals born 1946-64) and currently make up a larger segment of the United States (US) labour force.

There is a debate on whether college-educated women in Generation X have spawned a major shift in labor and fertility behaviors compared with their Baby Boomer counterparts because they are less ambitious in balancing family and career and tend to prioritize child-rearing.

This study finds some support for this argument. Results reveal that Total Fertility Rates (TFRs) are increasing across cohorts for all educational groups and the increase is greatest for college-educated women. The increase in cohort TFR among college-educated women is being primarily driven by an increasing proportion of those with two children transitioning to a third birth. 

 MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The fertility of college-educated women is increasing more quickly across cohorts in Generation X than the fertility of their less-educated counterparts. The increase in fertility levels among college-educated women is mostly driven by a selected group increasingly having third births.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: This paper has established an interesting descriptive fact­­­­, that is, the fertility of college-educated women is increasing more quickly across cohorts in Generation X than the fertility of their less-educated counterparts. Future studies are needed to further examine the factors driving this pattern.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? Any disclosures?

Response: Why is the fertility of college-educated women increasing more quickly across cohorts in Generation X than the fertility of their less educated counterparts? It is most likely because of reduced competing factors particularly for those with college degrees. These factors include but are not limited to increasing gender equality, increasing feasibility of outsourcing work related to child-rearing, improved technological advances and medical treatments that can extend the reproductive period and reduce infecundity, more advantageous maternity leave and arrangements, and better family support.

No disclosure.
Citation:

Emma Zang. Women’s educational attainment and fertility among Generation X in the United States. Population Studies, 2019; 1 DOI: 10.1080/00324728.2019.1658799 

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Last Modified : Oct 10, 2019 @ 11:59 pm 

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