IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Understanding low fertility in Poland


  • Joanna Z. Mishtal

    (University of Central Florida)


After the state socialist regime of Poland collapsed in 1989, the nation’s total fertility rate plummeted from 2.1 to 1.27 by 2007. Simultaneously, Poland severely reduced social service provisions and restricted access to family planning. A three-month mixed-methods research study was conducted in 2007 in Gdańsk to investigate Polish women’s reproductive intentions and decision making. These data reveal that discriminatory practices by employers against pregnant women and women with small children are decisive in women’s decisions to postpone or forego childbearing. The case of Poland demonstrates the urgent need to redress fundamental gendered discrimination in employment before work-family reconciliation policies can be effective.

Suggested Citation

  • Joanna Z. Mishtal, 2009. "Understanding low fertility in Poland," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 21(20), pages 599-626, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:21:y:2009:i:20

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    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. Irena E. Kotowska & Janina Jóźwiak & Anna Matysiak & Anna Baranowska-Rataj, 2008. "Poland: Fertility decline as a response to profound societal and labour market changes?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(22), pages 795-854, July.
    3. Monika Mynarska & Laura Bernardi, 2007. "Meanings and attitudes attached to cohabitation in Poland," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 16(17), pages 519-554, June.
    4. Frątczak, Ewa, 2004. "Family and Fertility in Poland: Changes during the Transition Period," Discussion Paper 206, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    5. Monika A. Mynarska & Laura Bernardi, 2007. "Meanings and attitudes attached to cohabitation in Poland: qualitative analyses of the slow diffusion of cohabitation among the young generation," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2007-006, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    6. Milanovic, Branko, 1998. "Explaining the increase in inequality during the transition," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1935, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Małgorzata Podogrodzka, 2012. "Determinanty przestrzennego zróżnicowania płodności w Polsce w latach 1999-2009," Collegium of Economic Analysis Annals, Warsaw School of Economics, Collegium of Economic Analysis, issue 28, pages 145-164.

    More about this item


    childbearing; employment; employment discrimination; Europe; fertility; fertility decisions; gender equality; mixed methods; neoliberalism; Poland; postsocialist countries;

    JEL classification:

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


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:21:y:2009:i:20. 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). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.