Education and Unintended Pregnancies in Australia: Do Differences in Relationship Status and Age at Birth Explain the Education Gradient

Belinda Hewitt, Paula England, Janeen Baxter, Emily Fitzgibbons Shafer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

We investigated the extent to which relationship status and age at birth explain the education gradient in whether a woman's pregnancy leading to her most recent birth was intended or not. Our data came from wave 5 (2005) of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey (HILDA) (n = 1,751). We found an education gradient in intended births, where less educated women were more likely to report an unintended most recent birth. Part of this was explained by the fact that less educated women were younger when they give birth and less likely to be married-characteristics predictive of unplanned births. To better understand education differences in having unintended births further research needs to focus on the role played by education differences in abortion and contraceptive behaviour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-52
Number of pages17
JournalPopulation Review
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Age at birth
  • Education
  • Fertility
  • Fertility intentions
  • Marital status
  • Opportunity costs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography

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