A Preliminary Investigation of Fertility Preference of College Students

Authors: Lei Xu*, California State University - Fullerton
Topics: Population Geography
Keywords: fertility desire, gender preference
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Council Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In most developed countries, an ongoing demographic issue is the declining of fertility rate. People tend to have smaller families, and potential parents are faced with the tradeoff between quantity and quality of children. This research explores the fertility desire and gender preference among U.S. college students (N= 852; 462 women, 390 men). The preliminary investigation reveals that the ideal number of children is a “promising” above-replacement level of 2.35. The desired number of children is lower for Asian Americans, especially for Chinese (2.06) and Vietnamese (2.17), and higher for Hispanics (2.57), and Blacks (2.50). Respondents with larger number of siblings tend to have a greater ideal parity. With respect to gender preference, 57.4% of respondents prefer “both boys and girls”, and 27.6% of indicate “no preference” on gender. Interestingly, Chinese Americans shows the lowest proportion preferring “boys only” (2.75%), while Hispanics and Whites show relatively high proportion preferring “girls only” (14.53% and 13.53%, respectively). The major determinants of the fertility preference are also investigated and reported.

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