Unemployment delays arrival of first child in France

The National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED) published a study on December 10, 2015 in the category “Population and society” entitled “Unemployment delays the arrival of the first child in France”. This publication follows an ERFI survey performed by INED and the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) in metropolitan France for which 10,079 men and women aged 18 to 79 were questioned at the end of 2005, then three and six years later (end of 2008 and end of 2011).

The authors report that the men and women had less of an intention to have their first child in the near future when they are unemployed. Furthermore for those who wish to become parents, the project is delayed when they experience a period of unemployment. For men, this delay is explained by deferring the forming of a couple and for women by waiting for a stable professional position. However for those who are already parents, unemployment had no effect on their project to have children.

The study concludes that the current context of economic crisis questions the long term effects of unemployment on fecundity. The studies carried out for previous time periods showed that the decline in fecundity observed in instances of high unemployment was temporary and was often followed by a rebound in births when economic prosperity was restored. With a pervasive backdrop of a two-child family model and social policy which eases the perils, the authors estimate that the effect of unemployment remains limited for future descendants.


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