Diverging destinies: how children are faring under the second demographic transition

Demography. 2004 Nov;41(4):607-27. doi: 10.1353/dem.2004.0033.


In this article, I argue that the trends associated with the second demographic transition are following two trajectories and leading to greater disparities in children's resources. Whereas children who were born to the most-educated women are gaining resources, in terms of parents' time and money, those who were born to the least-educated women are losing resources. The forces behind these changes include feminism, new birth control technologies, changes in labor market opportunities, and welfare-state policies. I contend that Americans should be concerned about the growing disparity in parental resources and that the government can do more to close the gap between rich and poor children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Welfare*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developed Countries / statistics & numerical data
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Feminism / history
  • Health Transition
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maternal Age
  • Mothers / education
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data
  • Parenting / history
  • Population Dynamics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Change*
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Women, Working / statistics & numerical data