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A recent study found that women in Portugal have their first child at the age of 30, and one quarter of them don’t expect to have more than one. Unsurprisingly, given those facts, Portugal has one of the world’s lowest fertility rates. For those economists who think it’s a good idea to keep fertility rates high to produce a cheaper labor force, this trend is worrisome. But what are some of the reasons women delay having their first child?

Factors that lead to the postponement of having children include the extension of period of studies, delayed entry to the labour market, instability in relationships or the lack of one, delays in leaving the parental home, believing that having children is not essential for personal realisation and believing that it is preferable to have fewer children in order to give them better opportunities.

Are any of these bad reasons? The desire to go to school, the disinclination to have a child in the middle of a bad relationship, wanting to give your child more… these seem sensible to us. What do you think?

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