The Interplay of Race/Ethnicity and Education in Fertility Patterns


Emma Zang, Chloe Sariego and Anirudh Krishnan

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Zang, Emma, Chloe Sariego & Anirudh Krishnan (2022). The Interplay of Race/Ethnicity and Education in Fertility Patterns. Population Studies, Published online: 18 Oct 2022. DOI: 10.1080/00324728.2022.2130965.
This study examines the interplay between race/ethnicity and educational attainment in shaping completed fertility in the United States for women born 1961–80. Using data from the National Survey of Family Growth, 2006–17, we apply multilevel, multiprocess hazard models to account for unobserved heterogeneity and to estimate (1) cohort total fertility rates, (2) parity progression ratios, and (3) parity-specific fertility timing, for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic women by educational attainment. We find that compared with their white counterparts, fertility was higher among Black and Hispanic women with less than high school education. However, among college-educated women, fertility levels were lowest among Black women and highest among Hispanic women. The difference in fertility between college-educated Black and white women is driven mainly by the smaller proportion of Black mothers having second births. We find little evidence that the observed racial/ethnic disparities in fertility levels by educational attainment are driven by differences in fertility timing.
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