Volume 19 - Article 2 | Pages 5-14

Summary and general conclusions: Childbearing Trends and Policies in Europe

By Tomas Frejka, Tomas Sobotka, Jan M. Hoem, Laurent Toulemon

Print this page  Send this article to a friend  Twitter


Date received:06 Jun 2008
Date published:01 Jul 2008
Word count:3000
Keywords:childbearing, Europe
Weblink:You will find all publications in this Special Collection “Childbearing Trends and Policies in Europe” at http://www.demographic-research.org/special/7/


European fertility early in the 21st century was at its lowest level since the Second World War. This study explores contemporary childbearing trends and policies in Europe, and gives detailed attention to the past two or three decades. We felt motivated to undertake this project because in many European countries, as well as for the European Union as a whole, the overall fertility level and its consequences are of grave concern and draw attention on the political stage. Our account focuses somewhat more on the previously state socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe, where available knowledge about the impact on childbearing of the momentous political and economic transition that started in 1989 remains relatively scarce.
As family formation and childbearing behaviour are inherent components of societal life, they were influenced and modified by the various political, economic, and social changes that took place in Europe during the past 60 years. There were also profound changes in norms, values, beliefs, and attitudes regarding family and childbearing, and these exerted additional effects on fertility and family trends. To identify such effects, this study pays much attention to the influence of social and family policies on fertility, to the influence of political and economic changes on fertility and family trends, and to the diverse ways changes in values, norms, and attitudes relate to the transformation in family-related behaviour in Europe. In the present chapter, we outline main issues discussed in the subsequent overview chapters, and summarise the main findings of the entire study.

Author's Affiliation

Tomas Frejka - Independent researcher, International [Email]
Tomas Sobotka - Vienna Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria [Email]
Jan M. Hoem - Stockholm University, Sweden [Email]
Laurent Toulemon - Institut national d´études démographiques (INED), France [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Immigrant fertility in Sweden, 2000-2011: A descriptive note
Volume 30 - Article 30

» Recent fertility patterns of Finnish women by union status: A descriptive account
Volume 28 - Article 14

» Should governments in Europe be more aggressive in pushing for gender equality to raise fertility? The first "YES"
Volume 24 - Article 7

» Multi-residence in France and Australia: Why count them? What is at stake? Double counting and actual family situations
Volume 23 - Article 1

» Levels of recent union formation : Six European countries compared
Volume 22 - Article 9

» The negative educational gradients in Romanian fertility
Volume 22 - Article 4

» France: High and stable fertility
Volume 19 - Article 16

» Czech Republic: A rapid transformation of fertility and family behaviour after the collapse of state socialism
Volume 19 - Article 14

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

» Overview Chapter 8: The impact of public policies on European fertility
Volume 19 - Article 10

» 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 5: Determinants of family formation and childbearing during the societal transition in Central and Eastern Europe
Volume 19 - Article 7

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

» Overview Chapter 3: Birth regulation in Europe: Completing the contraceptive revolution
Volume 19 - Article 5

» Overview Chapter 2: Parity distribution and completed family size in Europe: Incipient decline of the two-child family model
Volume 19 - Article 4

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

» Preface: Childbearing Trends and Policies in Europe
Volume 19 - Article 1

» Marriage formation as a process intermediary between migration and childbearing
Volume 18 - Article 21

» The reporting of statistical significance in scientific journals: A reflexion
Volume 18 - Article 15

» Generations and Gender Survey (GGS): Towards a Better Understanding of Relationships and Processes in the Life Course
Volume 17 - Article 14

» Cohort birth order, parity progression ratio and parity distribution trends in developed countries
Volume 16 - Article 11

» Anticipatory analysis and its alternatives in life-course research: Part 2: Marriage and first birth
Volume 15 - Article 17

» Anticipatory analysis and its alternatives in life-course research: Part 1: Education and first childbearing
Volume 15 - Article 16

» First birth trends in developed countries: Persisting parenthood postponement
Volume 15 - Article 6

» Educational attainment and ultimate fertility among Swedish women born in 1955-59
Volume 14 - Article 16

» Education and childlessness: The relationship between educational field, educational level, and childlessness among Swedish women born in 1955-59
Volume 14 - Article 15

» Social differentials in speed-premium effects in childbearing in Sweden
Volume 14 - Article 4

» Why does Sweden have such high fertility?
Volume 13 - Article 22

» Childbearing patterns for Swedish mothers of twins, 1961-1999
Volume 11 - Article 15

» 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

» Cohort Reproductive Patterns in the Nordic Countries
Volume 5 - Article 5

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» Understanding low fertility in Poland: Demographic consequences of gendered discrimination in employment and post-socialist neoliberal restructuring
Volume 21 - Article 20    | Keywords: childbearing, Europe

» Sweden: Combining childbearing and gender equality
Volume 19 - Article 28    | Keywords: childbearing, Europe

» Spain: Short on children and short on family policies
Volume 19 - Article 27    | Keywords: childbearing, Europe

» Slovenia: Generous family policy without evidence of any fertility impact
Volume 19 - Article 26    | Keywords: childbearing, Europe

» Russian Federation: From the first to second demographic transition
Volume 19 - Article 24    | Keywords: childbearing, Europe