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Childlessness: a life choice that goes against the norm


  • Charlotte Debest


  • Magali Mazuy


  • équipe de l’enquête Fecond



In France, only a minority of people wish to remain childless, and the proportion reporting this choice has remained stable for the last two decades. In statistical terms, reporting a wish to remain childless is more frequent among persons who are not in a union, among highly educated women and among men with a low educational level or at the end of their reproductive life. Data from the Fecond survey (2010) and from a qualitative interview-based survey indicated that more than half of the persons reporting a wish to remain childless are in a union and that the majority give "libertarian" reasons for this choice, such as being "happy without children" and a "desire for freedom". Running counter to the "family" norm, these people affirm a positive life choice focusing on personal fulfilment.

Suggested Citation

  • Charlotte Debest & Magali Mazuy & équipe de l’enquête Fecond, 2014. "Childlessness: a life choice that goes against the norm," Population and Societies 508, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).
  • Handle: RePEc:idg:posoce:508

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    Cited by:

    1. Beth Turnbull & Melissa L Graham & Ann R Taket, 2016. "Social Exclusion of Australian Childless Women in Their Reproductive Years," Social Inclusion, Cogitatio Press, vol. 4(1), pages 102-115.

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