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The highest fertility in Europe-For how long? Determinants of fertility change in Albania


  • Arjan Gjonça
  • Arnstein Aassve
  • Letizia Mencarini


Albania’s demographic changes have sparked considerable interest in recent years. Much of this attention has arisen due to a general lack of knowledge and to the seemingly paradoxical demographic behaviour of the Albanian population (Gjonça, A. 2001; Gjonça, A. et al. 1997). The country has experienced a high level of life expectancy and relatively high levels of fertility in recent years. While previous research gives some answers to developing trends and patterns of mortality and fertility change, not much is known about fertility behaviour either during the communist period or during the nineties. The post-transition situation is bound to have profound impact on society and the behaviour of individuals within it. Using the 2002 Albanian Living Standard and Measurement Survey (ALSMS) we analyse fertility behaviour in terms of the quantum and tempo. The results from survival analysis techniques suggest that the reduction of fertility is mainly due to social development, with particular emphasis on female education, as well as the improvement of child mortality. The results for the 1990s also reveal some strong period effects mainly influencing higher parities. The persistence of traditional norms and values continue to affect family formation in Albania, while the changes in social and economic circumstances shape childbearing.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nki:journl:v:52:y:2009:i:5:p:76-96

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carletto, Calogero & Davis, Benjamin & Stampini, Marco & Trento, Stefano & Zezza, Alberto, 2004. "Internal mobility and international migration in Albania," ESA Working Papers 23797, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Agricultural Development Economics Division (ESA).
    2. World Bank, 2004. "Albania - Sustaining Growth Beyond the Transition : A World Bank Country Economic Memorandum," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14383, The World Bank.
    3. Watson, Peggy, 1995. "Explaining rising mortality among men in Eastern Europe," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 923-934, October.
    4. 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.
    5. World Bank & World Bank, 2003. "Albania : Poverty Assessment," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14605, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Carmela Miccoli & Antonella Biscione, 2016. "Economic Growth, Spatial Redistribution Of Population And Poverty In Albania," RIEDS - Rivista Italiana di Economia, Demografia e Statistica - Italian Review of Economics, Demography and Statistics, SIEDS Societa' Italiana di Economia Demografia e Statistica, vol. 70(3), pages 89-100, July-Sept.
    2. Mathias Lerch, 2013. "Fertility Decline During Albania’s Societal Crisis and its Subsequent Consolidation," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 29(2), pages 195-220, May.
    3. Lantona Sado & Federico Benassi & Alma Spaho, 2018. "How the Early Childhood Well-Being Lies within the Family Context in Albania," Child Indicators Research, Springer;The International Society of Child Indicators (ISCI), vol. 11(4), pages 1301-1319, August.

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    More about this item


    fertility; fertility behaviour; survey; Albania;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure


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