Education and non-marital conception outcomes in Central Europe: a comparison of trends in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia

Martina Štípková, University of West Bohemia
Zuzanna Brzozowska, Vienna Institute of Demography and Warsaw School of Economics
Michaela Potancokova, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)

Non-marital childbearing has spread sharply in the post-socialist countries of Central Europe. Previous research shows that this trend was caused by retreat from post-conception marriages rather than by an increase in non-marital conceptions. However, little is known about the educational differences in this shift. Our goal is to describe and explain the educational differences in the trend in the outcomes of first non-marital conceptions in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia. We use data from the national birth registers for period 1992-2010. The data are limited to first-time mothers. We use information about mother’s marital status, date of birth, and date of marriage to identify nonmarital conceptions (no marriage or marriage that took place less than 7 months before birth). Further maternal characteristics are educational attainment, age, and the size of the place of the residence. We first describe the trends by country and education and then model the odds of nonmarital birth among mothers who conceived as unmarried. Preliminary results show that, in all three countries, both the proportion of first non-marital conceptions and their educational gradient have remained surprisingly stable in the last two decades. However, the educational differences in the non-marital conception outcomes have become smaller in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (but remained stable in Poland). The results are related to the general change of the costs of childbearing and country-specific cultural contexts.

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Presented in Session 14: Families and households