August 9, 2017

The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey 2017, funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services and administered by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research each year, reveals a great deal about us.

Life Course Centre Research Fellow Dr Leah Ruppanner has been unpacking some of the data in the HILDA report and, in an article in The Conversation on August 2, 2017, concludes that both Australian men and women would like to have more children than they actually have.

This, combined with the fact that women are having fewer children later in life compared to previous cohorts, has led to a situation where Australia has sub-replacement fertility – a matter of concern to governments when it comes to planning and resources.

As Ruppanner says, ‘Children bring great joy, enrichment and hilarity, yet the demands of modern children and work are contradictory. Without adequate policies to support parents, including those who work, the gap between desired and actual births will remain and possibly grow.

‘While some have argued that reducing fertility is key to reducing global warming, persistent declining fertility rates will pose important challenges for governments as populations continue to age.’

Read the full article, here.