Based on data from the European Social Survey (2018), this paper examines ideas about the ideal age to become a parent in 28 European countries. Using multi-level models, it assesses the impact of real timing of childbirth and childlessness acceptance at the country level while controlling for individual characteristics. The findings show that the variability of ideas about ideal age at the country level is relatively limited and correlates significantly with the real timing of childbearing. A higher ideal age is preferred by women, people with higher education, the childless, and parents of one child. Although at the individual level lower childlessness acceptance is associated with a preference for a lower ideal age for childbearing, at the country level this is not the case. In countries where postponement of childbearing is more advanced, differences in attitudes about the ideal age of childbearing, particularly the ideal age to become a father, by education and age are smaller. This paper contributes to the understanding of differences in the perception of age norms of childbearing in Europe and to the factors influencing the postponement of childbearing.
Peer-reviewed journal article
Klímová Chaloupková, Jana. 2022. „Kdy mít dítě? Představy o ideálním věku rodičovství v Evropě.“ Sociální studia / Social Studies 19(2):15–34. Available from: https://journals.muni.cz/socialni_studia/article/view/32987.