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Is Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe Explained by the Postponement of Childbearing?

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  • Tomás Sobotka

Abstract

In 2001, more than half of Europe's population lived in countries with a total fertility rate (TFR) at or below 1.3. Use of the adjusted TFR proposed by Bongaarts and Feeney, which takes into account the effects of the ongoing fertility postponement, changes the European fertility map considerably. All 27 countries analyzed had adjusted TFRs in 1995-2000 above 1.4. Thus, the "lowest-low" fertility in Europe may be interpreted as a temporary consequence of the increasing age at motherhood. However, substantial regional differences in fertility level across Europe persist even when the differential pace of fertility postponement is taken into account. The estimated adjusted TFRs in Europe (1.63) and in the 25-member European Union (1.71) contrast with the TFR levels of 1.40 and 1.46, respectively. These seemingly small differences have vastly different implications in terms of the potential long-term pace of population decline. Copyright 2004 The Population Council, Inc..

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  • Tomás Sobotka, 2004. "Is Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe Explained by the Postponement of Childbearing?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(2), pages 195-220.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:30:y:2004:i:2:p:195-220
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Bongaarts, 2002. "The End of the Fertility Transition in the Developed World," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(3), pages 419-443.
    2. John Bongaarts & Griffith Feeney, 2000. "On the Quantum and Tempo of Fertility: Reply," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 26(3), pages 560-564.
    3. Hans-Peter Kohler & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "Tempo-Adjusted Period Parity Progression Measures, Fertility Postponement and Completed Cohort Fertility," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(6), pages 91-144, March.
    4. Paul Demeny, 2003. "Population Policy Dilemmas in Europe at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 29(1), pages 1-28.
    5. repec:cai:poeine:pope_304_0451 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Hans-Peter Kohler & Dimiter Philipov, 2001. "Variance effects in the bongaarts-feeney formula," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 1-16, February.
    7. Tomas Frejka & Gérard Calot, 2001. "Cohort Reproductive Patterns in Low-Fertility Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(1), pages 103-132.
    8. S. Philip Morgan, 2003. "Is low fertility a twenty-first-century demographic crisis?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(4), pages 589-603, November.
    9. Tomáš Sobotka, 2003. "Tempo-quantum and period-cohort interplay in fertility changes in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 8(6), pages 151-214, April.
    10. Evert Imhoff & Nico Keilman, 2000. "On the Quantum and Tempo of Fertility: Comment," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 26(3), pages 549-553.
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