Again, solutions may vary across cohorts, because target numbers of lifetime births, the baseline timing of births, investment opportunities that lead to delayed childbearing
, and the attractiveness of marriage are all cohort specific.
The average age of mothers increased dramatically in most developed countries in the latter half of the twentieth century, engendering discussion about the phenomenon of delayed childbearing
. (5) In Australia, the median age of mothers rose steadily from 25.4 years in 1971 (the lowest on record) to 30.8 years in 2006.
Nelson attributes the latest birth numbers to a "perfect storm" of factors: more immigrants having children, professional women who have delayed childbearing
until their 40s, and larger numbers of women in their 20s and 30s in the population, which keeps the fertility rate high--all factors that bode well for manufacturers and sellers of infant care items.
THE SOURCE: "Understanding the Returns to Delayed Childbearing
for Working Women" by Kasey Buckles, and "Transitions: Career and Family Life Cycles of the Educational Elite" by Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F.
Maternal behaviors traditionally associated with high-income Western countries (like delayed childbearing
and reduced breastfeecling) are becoming more prevalent in low- and middle-income countries.
Source: "Powerful Partners: Adolescent Girls' Education and Delayed Childbearing
" by Elaine Murphy and Dara Carr, Population Reference Bureau, 1875 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 520, Washington, D.C.
Are 50 percent more likely to repeat a grade and perform poorly on standardized tests and less likely to complete high school than if their mothers had delayed childbearing
. Low birth weight doubles the chances of dyslexia, hyperactivity or other disabilities.
Moreover, delayed childbearing
is statistically more likely to result in multiple gestations and certain birth defects, such as Down syndrome.
In addition, baby boomers are the first generation to experience high levels of divorce and delayed childbearing
. Divorce often contributes to breaking down support networks that help people cope with stress.
Once women who have delayed childbearing
begin to have children, the downward trend in the total fertility rate could end, and a slight upturn is a distinct possibility.
METHODS: Data from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth were used to estimate the hazards of the transition to marriage for women who delayed childbearing
until marriage and for teenagers and older women who had a nonmarital first birth, and of the transition to divorce among the ever-married.
Living with one's biological father at age 14 relates to delayed childbearing
(with hazard rates nearly 60 and 40 percent lower for teens of the two cohorts).
If a study included many women who had aborted their first pregnancy when they were young, effectively postponing motherhood, we might find a correlation between abortion and breast cancer, but delayed childbearing
would be the more probable cause of the increased risk.
Nord, "Delayed Childbearing
in the U.S.: Facts and Fictions," Population Bulletin, 39, (1984).
The patterns of less successful employment outcomes for women who had children as teenagers were similar to those for women who married as teenagers but delayed childbearing
until ages 20-24.