When Comes Baby in the Baby Carriage? Historical Changes in Three Dimensions of Age at Parenthood

Ann Meier, University of Minnesota
Steven Ruggles, University of Minnesota
Catherine A. Fitch, University of Minnesota

The age of parents at the birth of their children may have profound implications for the subsequent life course of parents, the functioning of the family, and for child health and well-being. Using historical census data from the Integrated Public Use Micro Series, this research explore three dimensions of parental age: chronological age, social age, and relationship age from the early 1900s until 2008. Little is known about long-term historical shifts in these dimensions of age, and to our knowledge, there has been no systematic investigation of their interdependence. This research addresses the transformation of family life by investigating historical change in three dimensions of parental age and the ways in which the dimensions are woven together.

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Presented in Session 21: Timing of Childbearing and Fertility Transitions