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The End of "Lowest-Low" Fertility?


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  • Joshua R. Goldstein
  • Tomás Sobotka
  • Aiva Jasilioniene
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    Total fertility rates fell to previously unseen levels in a large number of countries beginning in the early 1990s. The persistence of TFRs below 1.3 raised the possibility of rapid population aging and decline. We discuss the recent widespread turnaround in so-called lowest-low-fertility countries in Europe and East Asia. The number of countries with TFRs below 1.3 fell from 21 in 2003 to five in 2008. Moreover, the upturn in the TFR was not confined to lowest-fertility countries, but affected the whole developed world. We explore the demographic explanations for the recent rise in TFRs stemming from fertility timing effects as well as economic, policy, and social factors. Although the current economic downturn may suppress TFRs in the short run, we conclude that formerly lowest-low-fertility countries will continue to see increases in fertility as the transitory effects of shifts to later childbearing become less important. Copyright (c) 2009 The Population Council, Inc..

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by The Population Council, Inc. in its journal Population and Development Review.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 663-699

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:35:y:2009:i:4:p:663-699

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    Cited by:
    1. Máire Ní Bhrolcháin, 2011. "Tempo and the TFR," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 841-861, August.
    2. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00660630 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00660630 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Klaus Prettner & David E. Bloom & Holger Strulik, 2012. "Declining fertility and economic well-being: do education and health ride to the rescue?," PGDA Working Papers 8412, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
    5. Joshua Goldstein & Michaela Kreyenfeld & Aiva Jasilioniene & Deniz Dilan Karaman Örsal, 2013. "Fertility Reactions to the "Great Recession" in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(4), pages 85-104, July.
    6. Angela Luci & Olivier Thévenon, 2010. "Does economic development drive the fertility rebound in oecd countries ?," Working Papers 167, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).
    7. Jan Van Bavel & Mieke Jansen & Belinda Wijckmans, 2012. "Has Divorce Become a Pro-Natal Force in Europe at the Turn of the 21st Century?," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 31(5), pages 751-775, October.
    8. Angela Luci & Olivier Thévenon, 2012. "The impact of family policy packages on fertility trends in developed countries," Working Papers 174, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).
    9. Arnstein Aassve & Elena Cottini & Agnese Vitali, 2013. "Youth Vulnerability in Europe during the Great Recession," Working Papers 057, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.


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