A recent study by the Institute for Economic Research Etla has revealed a surprising result: women with advanced education are more likely to find a spouse and have children by the age of 37, while men’s level of education does not promote family formation. This contradicts previous assumptions that education made it difficult for women to start a family but helped men find a relationship. The study examined the effect of education level by comparing the register data of individuals born between 1979-1985 who pursued secondary education or university of applied sciences. The results showed that access to secondary education increased the number of children for women by 5%, while access to a university of applied sciences further increased this number by another 5%. However, the effect on men was close to zero.
The reasons for this discrepancy are still unknown, but Virtanen, research manager and author of the study, speculated that men who have reached university may postpone having children. Education might also be seen as a sign of being able to be a parent, especially for women. While these results cannot be generalized to all educated and uneducated people, they provide valuable insights into the effects of education on family formation.