Fécondité et niveau d'études des femmes en France à partir des enquêtes annuelles de recensement
Using data from the French annual census surveys conducted between 2004 and 2009, this article applies the own-children method to analyse women’s fertility with respect to their educational level over the period 2000-2008. About 2.5% of children cannot be matched to their mother, and a shortfall of very young children is observed in the census surveys. For this reason the age-specific fertility rates derived from these surveys are slightly lower than those based on birth records, notably at ages below 30. Fertility varies substantially with educational level. The move to later age at childbearing is observed for all women, particularly those without diploma. But the process of entry into motherhood differs between social groups: mean age at first birth is 25 for unqualified women compared with 30 for those educated to degree level. The latter tend to concentrate their childbearing around age 31, whereas births among the women without diploma are more spread out in time. Fertility varies also substantially with place of birth, specially for unqualified women. Unqualified foreign-born women have a higher fertility than their equivalents in the native-born French population, whereas women educated to degree level have broadly similar fertility levels whether born in France or not. Finally, fertility of foreign-born women contributes little – less than 0.1 child per woman – to overall fertility.
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