Volume 19 - Article 14 | Pages 403-454

Czech Republic: A rapid transformation of fertility and family behaviour after the collapse of state socialism

By Tomas Sobotka, Anna Št’astná, Kryštof Zeman, Dana Hamplová, Vladimíra Kantorová

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Date received:08 Apr 2006
Date published:01 Jul 2008
Word count:15259
Keywords:childbearing, Czech Republic, Europe, family, fertility, state socialism
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2008.19.14
Weblink:You will find all publications in this Special Collection “Childbearing Trends and Policies in Europe” at http://www.demographic-research.org/special/7/
 

Abstract

Following the swift demise of the state-socialist regime in 1989, a profound transformation of family and fertility patterns has taken place in the Czech Republic. Family formation has been postponed and period fertility rates have fallen to very low levels, especially among young adults. Unmarried cohabitation has become relatively widespread and marriages have been progressively delayed or even foregone. These rapid shifts in family-related behaviour were primarily driven by a period change and resulted in a sharp discontinuity in cohort patterns of union formation and childbearing. We argue that the rapid change in family-related behaviour after 1990 was driven by a fundamental shift in the constraints and incentives for childbearing, which was conducive to later and more carefully planned family formation. The rapidity of observed changes can be explained as the outcome of a simultaneous occurrence of several factors, especially the expansion of higher education, the emergence of new opportunities competing with family life, increasing job competition, rising economic uncertainty in young adulthood, and changing partnership behaviour.

Author's Affiliation

Tomas Sobotka - Vienna Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria [Email]
Anna Št’astná - Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs, Czech Republic [Email]
Kryštof Zeman - Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria [Email]
Dana Hamplová - Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Czech Republic [Email]
Vladimíra Kantorová - United Nations, United States of America [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Austria: Persistent low fertility since the mid-1980s
Volume 19 - Article 12

» Overview Chapter 7: The rising importance of migrants for childbearing in Europe
Volume 19 - Article 9

» Overview Chapter 6: The diverse faces of the Second Demographic Transition in Europe
Volume 19 - Article 8

» Overview Chapter 4: Changing family and partnership behaviour: Common trends and persistent diversity across Europe
Volume 19 - Article 6

» Overview Chapter 1: Fertility in Europe: Diverse, delayed and below replacement
Volume 19 - Article 3

» Summary and general conclusions: Childbearing Trends and Policies in Europe
Volume 19 - Article 2

» Tempo-quantum and period-cohort interplay in fertility changes in Europe: Evidence from the Czech Republic, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden
Volume 8 - Article 6

» Education and Entry into Motherhood: The Czech Republic during State Socialism and the Transition Period (1970-1997)
Special Collection 3 - Article 10

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