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Demographic Patterns from the 1960s in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal




Demographic behaviour has changed dramatically in the industrialised world after World War II. This literature review describes the demographic development in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal from the 1960s. The general pattern is delayed transition to adulthood and first birth, fertility and marriage-rates have declined, while divorce-rates have increased. But demographic behaviour differs between the countries. In France, cohabitation and births outside marriage are common and the divorce rate is relatively high. Female employment is high, public childcare is developed and public policies are generous. The economic situation for young people and families is relatively stable. Fertility rates are high and stable. In the South of Europe, leaving home and first partnership are postponed. Cohabitation and births outside marriage as well as divorce are rare - the conjugal family is still intact. Female employment is low, unemployment high, childcare is provided within the family and public policy is tight. Portugal differs from Italy and Spain with higher rates of female employment, more public childcare and public aid. The economic situation for young people and families is unstable. Fertility rates are among the lowest in the world. Many argue that the strained economy in the South both inhibits family formation and reinforces the role of the traditional family, with a family centred welfare, - production, - and value system. This prevents economic change since service is not externalised from the family. Discussing demographic patterns in Europe, some see convergence, others disparity. Later studies do not find strong support for convergence.

Suggested Citation

  • Rydell, Ingrid, 2002. "Demographic Patterns from the 1960s in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal," Arbetsrapport 2003:2, Institute for Futures Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifswps:2003_002
    Note: ISBN 91-89655-31-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191.
    2. Palme, Mårten & Svensson, Ingemar, 2002. "Pathways to Retirement and Retirement Incentives in Sweden," Arbetsrapport 2002:9, Institute for Futures Studies.
    3. Lagerlöf, Nils-Petter, 2001. "From Malthus to Modern Growth: Can Epidemics Explain the Three Regimes?," Arbetsrapport 2001:1, Institute for Futures Studies.
    4. Ranehill, Eva, 2002. "Social snedrekrytering till högre studier - En litteraturöversikt," Arbetsrapport 2002:10, Institute for Futures Studies.
    5. Barnekow, Erik, 2002. "Demografi och finansmarknad - en översikt av empirisk forskning," Arbetsrapport 2002:7, Institute for Futures Studies.
    6. Sommestad, Lena, 2001. "Health and Wealth: The Contribution of Welfare State Policies to Economic Growth," Arbetsrapport 2001:3, Institute for Futures Studies.
    7. Lundqvist, Torbjörn, 2002. "Arbetskraft och konkurrensbegränsning; aktörsperspektiv på den svenska modellen och framtiden," Arbetsrapport 2002:1, Institute for Futures Studies.
    8. Malmberg, Bo & Sommestad, Lena, 2000. "Tunga trender i den globala utvecklingen," Arbetsrapport 2000:2, Institute for Futures Studies.
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    More about this item


    demographic patterns; family;

    JEL classification:

    • J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General


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