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Austria: Persistent low fertility since the mid-1980s

Author

Listed:
  • Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz

    (Max-Planck-Institut für Demografische Forschung)

  • Tomáš Sobotka

    (Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU))

  • Isabella Buber-Ennser

    (Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU))

  • Henriette Engelhardt-Wölfler

    (Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg)

  • Richard Gisser

    (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften)

Abstract

This chapter offers an in-depth analysis of fertility in Austria, a country which has experienced a low and relatively stable fertility level and a gradual postponement of childbearing since the mid-1980s. We begin by summarising Austrian population trends in the post-World War II period and highlighting recent relatively high migration levels. We outline the long history of sub-replacement fertility and high childlessness in Austria and look in detail at recent parity-specific developments, trends in family size, delayed childbearing and persistent fertility differences by education level, country of origin and religious affiliation. The chapter then summarises main trends in family-related behaviour, including the changing patterns of leaving parental home, the rise in cohabitation, the decline in marriage and the rise of divorce and the diversity in non-marital childbearing, which has a long tradition in many parts of the country. We discuss the development of family policies in Austria and their relationship to fertility during the past decades. Social policies in Austria provide only a limited support for a reconciliation of childrearing and employment among mothers with children below the age of three. A combination of one of the highest family spending rates among the OECD countries and the low fertility rates indicate that structural constraints (such as the availability of childcare) constitute part of the explanation of low fertility.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz & Tomáš Sobotka & Isabella Buber-Ennser & Henriette Engelhardt-Wölfler & Richard Gisser, 2008. "Austria: Persistent low fertility since the mid-1980s," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(12), pages 293-360, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:19:y:2008:i:12
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Maria Winkler-Dworak & Henriette Engelhardt-Wölfler, 2004. "On the tempo and quantum of first marriages in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 10(9), pages 231-264, May.
    2. Andres Vikat & Elizabeth Thomson & Alexia Prskawetz, 2003. "Childrearing responsibility and stepfamily fertility in Finland and Austria," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-001, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    3. Isabella Buber, 2002. "The influence of the distribution of household and childrearing tasks between men and women on childbearing intentions in Austria," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-004, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    4. Jan M. Hoem & Alexia Prskawetz & Gerda R. Neyer, 2001. "Autonomy or conservative adjustment? The effect of public policies and educational attainment on third births in Austria," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-016, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    5. Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz & Andres Vikat & Dimiter Philipov & Henriette Engelhardt-Wölfler, 2003. "Pathways to stepfamily formation in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 8(5), pages 107-150, March.
    6. O'Donoghue, Cathal & Sutherland, Holly, 1999. "Accounting for the Family in European Income Tax Systems," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(5), pages 565-598, September.
    7. Isabella Buber-Ennser & Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, 2000. "Fertility in second unions in Austria," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 3(2), July.
    8. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
    9. Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweim�ller, "undated". "Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a �True Natural Experiment�," IEW - Working Papers 242, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    10. Francesco C. Billari & Dimiter Philipov & Pau Baizán Munoz, 2001. "Leaving home in Europe: the experience of cohorts born around 1960," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-014, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Caroline Berghammer & Katrin Fliegenschnee & Eva-Maria Schmidt, 2014. "Cohabitation and marriage in Austria," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(37), pages 1137-1166, November.
    2. Zuzanna Brzozowska, 2014. "Fertility and education in Poland during state socialism," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(12), pages 319-336, July.
    3. Anna Matysiak, 2009. "Is Poland really 'immune' to the spread of cohabitation?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 21(8), pages 215-234, August.
    4. Joze Sambt & Alexia Prskawetz, 2011. "National Transfer Accounts for Austria: low levels of education and the generosity of the social security system," Chapters,in: Population Aging and the Generational Economy, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Isabella Buber-Ennser & Ralina Panova & Jürgen Dorbritz, 2013. "Fertility Intentions Of University Graduates," Demográfia English Edition, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, vol. 56(5), pages 5-34.
    6. Martin Klesment & Allan Puur & Leen Rahnu & Luule Sakkeus, 2014. "Varying association between education and second births in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(27), pages 813-860, October.
    7. Monika Mynarska & Anna Matysiak, 2010. "Diffusion of cohabitation in Poland," Working Papers 19, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Austria; childbearing; Europe; fertility;

    JEL classification:

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

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