STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to correlate the level of education to childbearing pattern and previous use of oral contraceptives in middle aged women. DESIGN AND SETTING--The study was a cross sectional survey of 3608 women aged 40-42 years in a county in northern Norway and involved 72% of all women in the age bracket living in the county. Information about childbearing and use of oral contraceptives was obtained from a self administered questionnaire. MAIN RESULTS--Level of education was inversely associated with parity and positively related to age at first and last birth, to the use of oral contraceptives at any time, and particularly to the use of oral contraceptives before the first birth. CONCLUSIONS--Women with high level of education have relatively low parity and postpone childbearing by using oral contraceptives.