Relationship Between Fertility Rates and Education Background in Women: Quantitative Analysis

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It has come to our attention that in developed countries the birth rate has been decreasing with the years. This trend is however not limited to developed countries but is also present in emerging countries, like Mexico. One of the main reasons for this decline is said to be the postponement of marriage among young people. Obtaining a higher education could lead young women to remain unmarried in their twenties. Increasing possibilities to achieve a higher education and therefore working in an appealing job has become increasingly attractive to young women. This change in values also contributed to the increase in unmarried singles in their twenties. However, it is also possible that the influence of one’s family background is the crucial factor, since people with a higher socioeconomic standing will more easily attain higher levels of education than those who do not. There is also the question whether differences in occupational status achieved through higher education influence reproductive behavior and whether education has an indirect effect in reproductive behavior.

We have reasons to believe that the declining fertility rate in developed countries is closely associated with the increase in women with a higher education. Examples for this kind of phenomenon are Italy, Japan, France, etc.

In this study we therefore decided to investigate in the relationship between the level of education and the fertility rate in Mexico. As Mexico is an emerging market with an increasing economy it is also of interest to find out if a higher level of education is negatively correlated with the birth rate like in developed countries.

Having skilled and trained labor force is becoming increasingly important in order to have a booming economy. Therefore observing the educational trend in Mexico is crucial.

Objective of the Study

The main concern in this study is to investigate in the relationship between the increase of women with a higher education and the decline in the fertility rate from the theoretical perspective of social stratification. Specifically, we have incorporated the outlook of social stratification with demographic approaches by examining the decline in fertility in relation to increasing levels of educational attainment. Instead of treating this decline as an issue that affects women in general, we will analyze it as it relates to the increasing number of women who have a higher education. In order to relate the influence of higher education on reproductive behavior, it is necessary to demonstrate with statistical terms whether higher education is correlated with the fertility rate or not.

In achieving this goal, we examined in detail the influence of women’s educational attainment on their reproductive behavior after completing their education.

Before beginning the main analysis, let us take a look at the time-series changes of the women’s rate of advancement to primary school degree, junior high school, high school and university, and the total of new born children in Mexico from a macro perspective.


As we can observe, there seems to be a relationship between the enrollment of women in higher academic levels and the birth rate because the more prepared academically the women get during the years the less new born children are registered. According to the graphs, we can infer that there might be a relation. This assumed relation still needs to be tested though.


This variable gives a figure for the average number of children that would be born per woman if all women lived to the end of their childbearing years and bore children according to a given fertility rate at each age. The total fertility rate (TFR) is a more direct measure of the level of fertility than the crude birth rate, since it refers to births per woman. This indicator shows the potential for population change in the country. A rate of two...
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