Fertility and Women’s Education in the UK

The lifetime experiences of work and family life for women in the UK have become increasing polarised between those who have experienced higher education and those who have not. This polarisation is likely to increase the material advantages of better-educated mothers – both for themselves and for their children.

These are the conclusions of new research by Anita Ratcliffe and Sarah Smith, which looks at the dramatic changes in fertility in the UK since the 1930s – smaller family sizes, increased childlessness and a rise in the average age at which women have their first child – and how much women’s participation in higher education has influenced these trends.

Find out more about this research from the Centre for Market and Public Organisation at the University of Bristol via the press release, full article in the latest issue of Research in Public Policy or listen to the podcast interview.


Intute: Social Sciences features more resources on the issues of fertility, women and education and economics.