Attitudes about voluntary childlessness across Europe: the role of individual and cultural factors

Eva-Maria Merz, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Aart C. Liefbroer, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)

This paper uses data from the European Social Survey 2006 to study attitudes on childlessness across Europe. Little is known about the extent to which such attitudes differ across Europe and what factors cause potential cross-national variation. Attitudes turn out to differ substantially across Europe. Multi-level models show that these attitudes vary both across individuals and among countries. The results of the present study indicate that especially cultural factors, such as individual religiousness, education and gender equality in a country were important factors associated with approval of childlessness. Interestingly, most variation in attitudes on childlessness was explained by macro-level factors, especially gender equality.

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Presented in Session 58: Childlessness