Source: The Mercury, 16 March, 1998, p.3


We're losing IQ by degrees

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.


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