Discussion Paper no. 04-02


Taking advantage of both a national survey on families (Canadian General Social Survey, 2001) and a local qualitative survey (Orientations to Relationships and Childbearing over the Life Course, 2000), this paper studies the attitudes that differentiate respondents who indicate alternate expected or completed family size. While we find some evidence of differing values that differentiate those intending not to have children, there is more evidence of a common culture of reproduction than of heterogeneity in preferences. The alternative outcomes in family size would also appear to be a function of the difficulties experienced in relationships and problems of financial security, given the felt need to make high investments for each child.