Already in the 1980s, Menken (1985) posed a question which is now more relevant than ever before: “Age and Fertility: how late can you wait?”. This issue has become prominent for individuals as well as for countries, as European societies have witnessed uninterrupted increase in the age at childbirth for more than four decades. We present here first investigations of late fertility in France and Austria at both the individual and population level. We introduce our research plans that should allow to investigate how changes in individual life course, notably partnership postponement and longer educational enrolment, have contributed to the increase in late childbearing and childlessness, and to the change in fertility levels.
Dr Eva Beaujouan is an RSSS visiting fellow at the School of Demography of the ANU College of Arts and Social Science. She wrote her Ph.D. thesis at the French National Institute of Demography (INED), spent three years at the University of Southampton as a postdoc (Centre for Population Change), and is currently a researcher at the Vienna Institute of Demography. Her main research interest is fertility and family change in low fertility countries, and she has started studying recently the trends towards later fertility.