Do Individuals with Higher Education Prefer Smaller Families? Education, Fertility Preference and the Value of Children in Greater Jakarta
AuthorUtomo, A; McDonald, P; Utomo, I; Hull, T
Source TitleChild Indicators Research
PublisherSpringer (part of Springer Nature)
AffiliationSchool of Geography
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsUtomo, A., McDonald, P., Utomo, I. & Hull, T. (2020). Do Individuals with Higher Education Prefer Smaller Families? Education, Fertility Preference and the Value of Children in Greater Jakarta. Child Indicators Research, 14 (1), https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-020-09752-6.
Access StatusOpen Access
An emerging scholarship indicates that the negative educational gradient in fertility preference has reversed in some low-fertility societies in the West. This paper explores the association between education and fertility preference in Greater Jakarta. We use longitudinal data from 962 young adults surveyed in 2010 and 2014. We look at two complementary measures of fertility preference: desired number of children, and a series of attitudinal questions around the value of children, supplemented by insights from in-depth interviews. We find a slight negative educational gradient in the desired number of children, but the means are not significantly different across education categories (average of 2.43). While desired family size may not vary much by educational groupings, education continues to shape other underlying facets of fertility motivations and regulation. Multivariate analysis suggests a positive and significant association between education and the likelihood of wanting more than two children in 2010.Tertiary-educated young adults, however, have the lowest likelihood of having achieved their desired family size by 2014. Tertiary-educated respondents demonstrate higher levels of agency in governing their fertility choices. Qualitative insights suggest little socio-economic difference in how young adults articulate the psychological benefits associated with children, but less well-off respondents express higher anxiety about the costs of raising children. As the first birth occurs at a relatively early stage in their childbearing years for most women, especially those with a lower education level, there is considerable scope for lived experience to influence values, preferences and outcomes.
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