Germany: Family diversity with low actual and desired fertility
Germany is a low-fertility country with a rapidly ageing population, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. There are several reasons for this trend. Germany is among the countries with the highest rates of childlessness in the world, and childlessness has become widely accepted. This is illustrated by changes in living arrangements. A broad range of living arrangements has been added to the basic model of marriage with children; namely, single living, non-marital cohabitation, lone parenthood, patchwork families and living apart together. A culture of individualism has spread in Germany which forms the basis for widespread decisions against family formation. The desired number of children has become low and family policy is considered to be a failure in terms of its influence on fertility. German family policy has had a traditional orientation centred on monetary support to families and on the promotion of the male breadwinner model. Women have been largely forced to choose between family and work, and leave the labour market when a child is born. The still prevailing concept of family policy does not help to reduce the pressure to choose between work and family life, and thus makes it easier to decide not to have children, especially for highly educated women. A change in family policy is needed which will enable couples to choose between the breadwinner-housewife and the reconciliation model. Gradually, this change is starting to take place.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:19:y:2008:i:17. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Editorial Office)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.