Volume 15 - Article 6 | Pages 147–180  

First birth trends in developed countries: Persisting parenthood postponement

By Tomas Frejka, Jean-Paul Sardon


Levels and trends of various facets concerning first births are continuously changing. The evidence confirms that the postponement of first births is an ongoing and persisting process which started in western countries among cohorts of the 1940s, but only in the 1960s cohorts in Central and Eastern Europe. The mean age of women having first births is universally rising. Fertility of older women was increasing. The decline in childbearing of young women is robust among the cohorts of the late 1960s and the 1970s; in Southern Europe as well as in central and Eastern Europe the rates of decline have accelerated. Childbearing behavior in the formerly socialist countries is in transition to a different regime.

Author's Affiliation

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Overview Chapter 5: Determinants of family formation and childbearing during the societal transition in Central and Eastern Europe
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Overview Chapter 3: Birth regulation in Europe: Completing the contraceptive revolution
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Overview Chapter 2: Parity distribution and completed family size in Europe: Incipient decline of the two-child family model
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Overview Chapter 1: Fertility in Europe: Diverse, delayed and below replacement
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Summary and general conclusions: Childbearing Trends and Policies in Europe
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Cohort Reproductive Patterns in the Nordic Countries
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