Spain: Short on children and short on family policies
Spainâ€™s total fertility rate has more than halved since 1975, when it was 2.8, to the present 1.3 (the lowest rate on record, 1.2, was reached in 1995). At the same time, the mean age at first childbirth has grown continually, seriously hindering any sustained recovery of fertility. Cohort fertility, in turn, has declined uninterruptedly since the 1941 cohort, and according to all estimates, this will drop to 1.6 for women born in the 1960s. A downturn in nuptiality, which has not been offset by a rise in consensual unions, along with the prevalence of contraceptives and abortion, have contributed substantially to falling fertility. Underlying this decrease is the profound cultural, social, and economic change that has raised the perceived costs of leaving the parental home and having children. The lack of any explicit family policy or transfers to compensate for such costs has reinforced that perception.
References listed on IDEAS
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- 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.
- Adsera, Alicia, 2004. "Marital Fertility and Religion: Recent Changes in Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 1399, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Pau Baizán & Francesca Michielin & Francesco Billari, 2002. "Political Economy and Life Course Patterns," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(8), pages 191-240, March.
- Pau Baizán Munoz & Arnstein Aassve & Francesco C. Billari, 2001. "Cohabitation, marriage, first birth: the interrelationship of family formation events in Spain," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-036, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
- Wolfgang Lutz & Vegard Skirbekk, 2005. "Policies Addressing the Tempo Effect in Low-Fertility Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(4), pages 699-720.
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