A recent study by the Institute for Economic Research Etla has revealed an intriguing result: women with advanced education are more likely to find a spouse and have children by the age of 37. However, this is not the case for men, whose level of education does not promote family formation. The research looked at the effect of education on children’s income and compared the register data of individuals born between 1979-1985 who pursued secondary education or university of applied sciences.
In previous years, it was believed that education made it difficult for women to start a family but helped men find a relationship. Today, both highly educated women and men have a spouse and children more frequently than those with secondary education, who in turn have a family more often than those with only primary school education. However, there is still very little research on the cause and effect relationships in this area.
The study found that access to secondary education increased the number of children for women by 5%, and access to a university of applied sciences by a further 5%, compared to those who were left out. The group thinks that education increases the number of women’s children because the jobs of educated people are more flexible according to the needs of the family, making them desirable partners for reproduction. However, in men, the effect was close to zero for one reason or another.
Virtanen speculated that the phenomenon could be explained by the fact that men who have reached university postpone having children. The study also indicated that education might be considered a sign of the ability to be a parent, especially for women. The reasons for these results are still unknown, and the next phase of the project aims to uncover these explanations.
While these results cannot be generalized to all educated and uneducated people, they provide valuable insights into how education affects family formation.
In conclusion, this study shows that although highly educated individuals are often assumed to face barriers when starting families due to their career demands or other factors such as financial independence or social status, it turns out that higher levels of education can actually increase their chances of finding a partner and starting a family early in life.
It is worth noting that while this study primarily focused on college-educated individuals born between 1979-1985 in Finland’s register data analysis system (ETLA), it is important to note that this may not necessarily reflect trends across different regions or cultures worldwide.
Furthermore, while this study provides some insight into how educational levels may affect family formation rates among certain groups within specific populations, it does not fully explain why certain patterns exist or what underlying factors may be driving them.
Therefore, future studies should continue exploring potential explanations for these findings and examine whether they hold up across different populations with varying levels of educational attainment and cultural norms around family formation.