Volume 19 - Article 13 | Pages 361-402

Bulgaria: Ethnic differentials in rapidly declining fertility

By Elena Koytcheva, Dimiter Philipov

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Date received:21 Aug 2006
Date published:01 Jul 2008
Word count:10266
Keywords:Bulgaria, childbearing, Europe, fertility
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2008.19.13
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

This chapter provides a detailed description of the fertility changes in Bulgaria during recent decades and discusses possible reasons and consequences. It also gives an overview of the steps that the government has undertaken to offset the considerable decline in fertility. Before the fall of communism, fertility trends in Bulgaria were stable and characterized by a nearly universal entry into parenthood, dominance of a two-child family model, an early start and early end of childbearing, stable mean ages at entry into childbearing and marriage, and low percentages of non-marital births. During the 1990s and in the first years of the new century, we observe a marked, rapid change in fertility behaviour. Together with the severe decline in overall fertility rates, demographic data reveal a significant postponement of entry into motherhood and marriage, a decline of the two-child family model, and an emergence of new family forms. Most research attributes these changes to the particular political and social situation in Bulgaria since 1989.

Author's Affiliation

Elena Koytcheva - Independent researcher, International [Email]
Dimiter Philipov - Vienna Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria [Email]

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