Women graduates now lead in childbearing, German study shows

28th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

The figures show a reversal of an imbalance that existed until the mid-1990s.

Muenster, Germany – Female graduates in Germany are now having more children than less-educated women, reversing an imbalance that prevailed until the mid 1990s, a study found Friday.

Professor Rainer Hufnagel of the University of Muenster's economic education institute used German micro-census sample data to compare childbirth rates among the poorly educated and those with university matriculation or degrees.

A university announcement said it was a mistake to blame highly educated women for Germany's low birth rate. They were doing more than their share, according to Hufnagel. He said their childbirth rates had only been below average until the early 1990s.

"Right now, the position is that the more education a woman has, the more children she brings into the world," he said. The statistics showed this was true of fathers as well.

Hufnagel linked the gain to state subsidies to child-care. He said high-income women had more to gain from state-aided child-care, because it enabled them to keep earning while their children were in kindergarten. For low-income women, it made less difference.

DPA and Expatica

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