Source: The Mercury, 16 March, 1998, p.3
AUSTRALIA'S average IQ could fall because higher edu- cated women have fewer chil- dren than lesser educated women, some fertility experts fear. Although a trend toward lower fertility is equal for all women, research has found that fertility falls as involve- ment in the paid workforce rises. For women aged 35-39, the average number of children born to university graduates was 1.55 compared with 2.15 for those with no post-school qualifications. The higher the qualifi- cation, the fewer children women expected to have. Figures from the Centre for Population and Urban Re- search at Monash University in Melbourne showed that women aged 25-29 who had a bachelor degree averaged 0.22 children and those aged 35-39 had 1.55 children. Those in the lower age group with a diploma had 0.45 children and in the higher age group 1.89. Women aged 25-29 and 35-39 with basic vocational training averaged 0.66 and 1.98 children respectively. and women with no post- school qualifications aver- aged 1.02 and 2.15 children. Australian National Uni- versity researcher Professor Peter McDonald said the trend meant it was most unlikely that fertility would rise. Australia has an overall fertility rate of 1.8 children but Professor McDonald warned if fertility dropped to one child then the size of the generation would halve in about 28 years. Of Australian women aged 30, about 22% had no chil- dren, 16% had one, 35% had two, 20% had three, 5% had four children and 2% had more than five. Young Australian women still expected to have an average of two children but Professor McDonald said in reality, many would not. He attribute some of the reasons for falling fertility rates to family-unfriendly workplaces and high cost of child care.
Where to next?
Student Questions for this article
Teacher Discussion of this article
Index - Related articles
Index - Data Representation
Main Index - Numeracy in the News