The aim of the study is a cross-national analysis of the predictors of child-number and child-timing intentions. Eurobarometer data from 29 European countries collected in 2006 are used to run proportional-odds multilevel models. The results show that cohabitation is a reason for postponing the decision to have a first child while divorce encourages a delay in the birth of a second child. Having a long-term perspective of what one’s household situation will be during the next one or two years is positively associated with the child-number intentions as well as with the intention to have a child within the next three years.
At the contextual level the childbearing experience of the (old) parents’ generations positively influences the childbearing intentions of the (young) children’s generations: the higher the parents’ mean actual number of children, the higher the total intended family size of children’s generations.
Moreover, the countries with the highest mean age at the first birth of the parents’ generations are those where individuals report the largest intended family size. Individuals living in contexts characterised by high GDP per capita tend to postpone the birth of the first child but anticipate the arrival of a second child Cross-national.pdf (23-page report)