Pondering birthrates in Britain

A recent survey shows the British population's view of why Britain's fertility rate has fallen well under replacement levels  (1.77 in 2004) since the peak of 2.95 in the 1960s. A while I, myself, set out to ponder low fertility rates on more general basis over at Demography.Matters.

In a British context it seems that the labour force participation argument stating that women are choosing career over children is predominant amongt ordinary Britons.

"Many adults in Britain blame job pressures for the country’s current baby shortage, according to a poll by ICM Research published in The Guardian. 63 per cent of respondents think people prefer to focus on their career instead.

The expensive toll of taking care of a child in today’s world is second on the list with 48 per cent, followed by people who wait too long and miss their chance with 37 per cent. A third of respondents believe there is less pressure on women to have children these days, and 24 per cent say there is not enough support from the government.

According to figures released by the Office of National Statistics, Britain’s fertility rate in 2004 was 1.77 children per woman, down from a peak of 2.95 in the 1960s. Recent estimates suggest that a rate of 2.1 is required to keep the population from declining.

Other European Union (EU) countries have lower fertility rates, including Italy and Spain at roughly 1.3 children per woman"