Family size intentions of childless Australians: what determines them?

Amina Keygan, Australian National University

The contexts of ‘low’ and declining fertility in Australia, coupled with a structurally ageing population, have increased academics’ and government interest in family size intentions. This study examines the determinants of childless Australian individuals’ reported family size intentions. It seeks to contribute to research that has so far mainly focussed either on intended childlessness, or the determinants of the ‘gap’ between intended and achieved fertility. Using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, this paper analyses the effects of sex, age, employment, partnership status and education on the likelihood of intending family sizes of zero, one, two or three plus children. Results demonstrate that for men, age, employment, partnership status and educational qualifications are all significant predictors of intended family size. However, only age and partnership status were found to significantly differentiate women's family size intentions.

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Presented in Session 85: Family ideals and preferences