Open Conference Systems, 50th Scientific meeting of the Italian Statistical Society

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Parenthood: an advanced step in the transition to adulthood
Antonella Guarneri, Cinzia Castagnaro, Eleonora Meli

Last modified: 2018-06-04


Parenthood constitutes a crucial stage and one of the most challenging phases of the life cycle. Timing of the transition to adulthood has changed across cohorts according to two different patterns, housing independence and family formation. Postponement of childbearing appears a rational choice for women to assure higher educational level and labor market participation, but it refers also to a value and sociocultural change. A remarkable postponement is taking place in Italy: TFR rapidly lowers as can be seen by fertility trends in cohort analysis.

By cohorts, the average number of children per woman in Italy decreases: 2.5 in the early 1920s (mean age at childbearing 28,6 years), 2 of the post-war generations (mean age 27) and the estimate of 1.44 of the 1976s (mean age about 31). At the same time, the proportion of women without children doubled from 1950 (11.1%) to 1976 (21.8%, estimate). Women without children between 18 and 49 are about 5.5 million, almost half of the women of this age group.

The aim of this paper is to explore the transition to adulthood, analyzing reproductive behaviors. The approach adopted is by cohort parity. A special focus is devoted to characterize childless people.


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