Education and Fertility: Do Educated Parents Have Fewer Children?


  • Damir Josipović Scientific Fellow at the Institute for Ethnic Studies


education, fertility, factors of fertility, Slovenia


In this piece, the author examines the problem of education vs. fertility. The main objective is to re-assess the relationship between the two. In the prevailing view in demographic literature, education is treated as a highly influential factor in reproductive behaviour. This view posits a simple linear relationship between education and fertility and hence assigns to both a rather mechanical interdependency. To surpass such speculations, a multi-disciplinary approach is called for. It is argued that education and fertility make, rather than a simply linear relationship, a subtle pair with many markedly intertwined dependencies. Analysed are selected heterogeneous geographical regions of Slovenia and their population structure as well as selected population groups throughout Slovenia. The analyses bring to the fore evidence in support of the thesis on a curved relationship between education and fertility. It is concluded that disparities in fertility rates among women with dissimilar levels of education in the studied territories were slowly diminishing through time, or have converted into other kinds of factor relations.