In the US, where educational attainment is near parity and shifting in women's favor, a strong relationship between educational attainment and having kids exists. The following table and graph* depicts this among baby boomers, the youngest generation to have passed reproductive viability, from responses given from the turn of the century on:
|Less than HS||2.80||340||2.26||308|
|Up to associate's||2.16||1040||1.98||788|
|Up to bachelor's||1.87||842||1.90||742|
|Up to master's||1.67||391||1.75||297|
|Up to doctorate||1.39||155||1.95||222|
Both sexes follow the trend of more school, fewer kids to send to school, but it is especially pronounced among women. This is not to insinuate causality. Pursuing higher levels of education proxies for a lot of other factors that influence fecundity, like a long-term career orientation for which children are viewed as a handicap. I'm aware of the point made by Agnostic:
The idea that female empowerment or education (as a route to empowerment) is driving -- rather than merely associated with -- the demographic transition ignores history. It started at least in the 1700s among the French, continued through what feminists would call the oppressive Victorian era, etc.Nonetheless, the dysgenic relationship is discouraging. Though the demographic transition started before the contemporary ecumenical educational system came into existence, the association is self-evidently strong, and is plausibly accentuating the effect not only by reducing total fertility, but also through delaying fertility, a more furtive filcher of our future.
We need methods to speed up the educational process, like self-paced coursework and subject-specific standardized testing (think Advanced Placement tests for those in college) that allows autodidacts to receive credit as soon as they've demonstrated proficiency in a subject rather than after four inefficient months of spending three hours per week having it delivered to them at varying levels of effectiveness. Ideally, passing the bar would be the only requirement for practicing law and passing the CPA exam the only requirement for becoming a CPA. If this results in a perceived glut of lawyers and accountants, the respective tests can simply be made more difficult. While the relative value of high parental socioeconomic status will decrease and higher conscientiousness might as well, higher intelligence would be rewarded with more precision and young professionals would be able to get to work years earlier and with tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars less debt on their shoulders.
GSS variables used: YEAR(2000-2008), AGE(36-62), EDUC(0-8)(9-11)(12)(13-14)(15-16)(17-18)(19-20), CHILDS
* No high school = 0-8 years of education; Some high school = 9-11 years; High school graduate = 12 years, Up to associate's = 13-14 years; Up to bachelor's = 15-16; Up to master's = 17-18 years; Up to doctoral = 19-20 years.