Impacts of Delayed First Birth Upon the Timing and Incidence of Second and Higher Order Births in Australia

Peter McDonald, Australian National University
Rebecca Kippen, Australian National University

To address the theoretical question of whether or not fertility intentions are maintained when age at first birth rises substantially, this paper examines the impact of delayed age at first birth upon the incidence and timing of second and higher order births for Australian birth cohorts from 1950 to 1976. As the age at first birth rises, does the interval to the second birth or higher order births fall, does it remain the same or does it get longer. Are second and higher order birth progressions contingent upon age or the interval since the previous birth, or both? Does the delay of the first birth inevitably lead to an age crunch where some intended births do not eventuate? The study employs a very detailed database of birth rates by age, parity and interval since the last birth to measure national trends and longitudinal panel survey data to examine differentials.

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Presented in Session 66: Timing of Childbearing