Social Indicators Research

, Volume 108, Issue 1, pp 65–86 | Cite as

Happiness and Childbearing Across Europe

  • Arnstein Aassve
  • Alice Goisis
  • Maria SironiEmail author


Using happiness as a well-being measure and comparative data from the European social survey we focus in this paper on the link between happiness and childbearing across European countries. The analysis motivates from the recent lows in fertility in many European countries and that economic wellbeing measures are problematic when considering childbearing. We find significant country differences, though the direct association between happiness and childbearing is modest. However, partnership status plays an important role for both men and women. Working fathers are always happier, whereas working mothers are not, though mothers’ happiness tends to increase with household income.


Happiness Childbearing Comparative European social survey 



We are grateful to Andrew Oswald, Andrew Clark, Cristina Ruggeri and Jane Klobas for very useful comments to this analysis. Financial support from the ERC, Starting Grant No. Stg 201194 (Consequences of Demographic Change), is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social DynamicsUniversità BocconiMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Social PolicyThe London School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK
  3. 3.Graduate Group in Demography, Population Studies CenterUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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