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Albania: Trends and patterns, proximate determinants and policies of fertility change


  • Arjan Gjonca

    (London School of Economics and Political Science)

  • Arnstein Aassve

    (Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi)

  • Letizia Mencarini

    (Bocconi University)


For a very long time, Albania has had one of the highest levels of fertility in Europe: in 2002 the total fertility rate of 2.2 children per woman was the highest in Europe. Although this current level is high, the country has experienced a rapid fertility reduction during the last 50 years: a TFR decline from 7 to 2.2. This reduction has occurred in the absence of modern contraception and abortion, which indicates the significance of investments in the social agenda during the communist regime that produced policies with indirect effects on fertility. Most significant of these were policies focused on education, in particular on female education. Social and demographic settings for a further fertility reduction in Albania have been present since 1990. Contraception and abortion have been legalized and available since the early 1990s, but knowledge of their use is still not widespread in the country, largely due to the interplay between traditional and modern norms of Albanian society. This chapter points out that future fertility levels will be determined not only by new policies that might be introduced, but predominantly by the balance of this interplay.

Suggested Citation

  • Arjan Gjonca & Arnstein Aassve & Letizia Mencarini, 2008. "Albania: Trends and patterns, proximate determinants and policies of fertility change," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(11), pages 261-292, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:19:y:2008:i:11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aassve, Arnstein & Gjonca, Arjan & Mencarini, Letizia, 2006. "The highest fertility in Europe: for how long? The analysis of fertility change in Albania based on individual data," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-56, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jonas Wood & Karel Neels & Tine Kil, 2014. "The educational gradient of childlessness and cohort parity progression in 14 low fertility countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(46), pages 1365-1416, December.
    2. Lucia Mangiavacchi & Federico Perali & Luca Piccoli, 2014. "Intrahousehold distribution in migrant-sending families," Working Papers 344, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    3. Gianna Claudia Giannelli & Lucia Mangiavacchi, 2010. "Children's Schooling and Parental Migration: Empirical Evidence on the ‘Left‐behind’ Generation in Albania," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(s1), pages 76-92, December.
    4. repec:ctl:louvde:v:84:y:2018:i:1:p:107-148 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Lucia Mangiavacchi & Luca Piccoli, 2009. "Child welfare and intra-household inequality in Albania," Working Papers 149, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    6. Arjan Gjonça & Arnstein Aassve & Letizia Mencarini, 2009. "The highest fertility in Europe-For how long? Determinants of fertility change in Albania," Demográfia English Edition, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, vol. 52(5), pages 76-96.
    7. Mathias Lerch, 2014. "The Role of Migration in the Urban Transition: A Demonstration From Albania," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(4), pages 1527-1550, August.
    8. Cornelia Muresan & Jan M. Hoem, 2010. "The negative educational gradients in Romanian fertility," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 22(4), pages 95-114, January.
    9. Tomáš Sobotka & Laurent Toulemon, 2008. "Overview Chapter 4: Changing family and partnership behaviour," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(6), pages 85-138, July.
    10. Cornelia Mureşan & Jan M. Hoem, 2009. "The negative educational gradients in Romanian fertility," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-019, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

    More about this item


    Albania; childbearing; Europe; fertility; fertility change;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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