Abstract

This paper presents some main results of an investigation by life table methods of birth interval data in cohabitational unions (marriages as well as consensual unions) in current Danish cohorts. Our results confirm previous findings that an early age at the start of recorded exposure to childbearing risk is indicative of a rapid pace and high level of subsequent fertility. The analysis modifies previous results and adds several new details regarding cohort trends and the effect of parity at the start of reported cohabitation. For each parity within a period of cohabitation, fertility differentials by reported starting age seem to have diminished from our older cohorts (of age up to 49 years in 1975) to our younger ones (of age less than 30 years in 1975). There are indications of a dramatic change in childbearing behaviour following the arrival of novel attitudes to non-marital cohabitation and childbearing in Denmark about 1967.

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