‘Childlessness, cohabitation and partnership history in Great Britain’

The presentation will recount some exploratory work which was carried out following an earlier project on childlessness – which formed a chapter entitled: Childlessness: choice and circumstances*. The project considered the patterns and trends of childlessness in Europe – and also the factors associated with childlessness in Great Britain, including, briefly, cohabitation. This latter aspect was subsequently explored further (which will form the presentation) – firstly the overall context: the trends in childlessness; the growth in the prevalence of cohabitation; and the profile of the marital and cohabitational histories of women and men in Great Britain. Then, using data from the British Household Panel Study from which childlessness and marital and cohabitational histories may be derived, patterns of childlessness are examined by a number of factors: number of cohabitations; mean age at first partnership; way in which the first partnership ended; total time spent outside partnerships; and odds ratios of childlessness (not) being independent of marital/cohabitational histories. *in: Fertility rates and population decline: no time for children? edited by Ann Buchanan and Anna Rotkirch, 2013, Palgrave Macmillan.