Beyond early motherhood: Trends and determinants of late fertility in Chile

Martina Yopo Díaz, Alejandra Abufhele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Delayed parenthood characterizes family formation in developed countries and is also emerging in developing countries. In Latin America, fertility trends have been historically characterized by early family formation and adolescent childbearing. Recent studies indicate emerging trends of late fertility, but there is conflicting empirical evidence on whether and why parenthood is being postponed. This mixed-methods study examines the trends and determinants of late fertility in Chile, focusing on whether and why women are delaying first childbearing. Quantitative findings indicate an increase in the age at first birth driven by a rise of the proportion of women becoming mothers after 30 years and a decrease of adolescent childbearing. Estimations show differences in the timing of first childbearing according to education, employment, and marital status. Qualitative findings suggest that delaying first childbearing is driven by aspirations of self-realization, emerging gender norms, intensification of mothering, partnership insecurity, and precarious social conditions for having children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-49
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Sociology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent childbearing
  • Chile
  • late fertility
  • mixed-methods
  • motherhood postponement


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