Volume 19 - Article 29 | Pages 1145–1178

Ukraine: On the border between old and new in uncertain times

By Brienna Perelli-Harris

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Date received:15 Aug 2006
Date published:01 Jul 2008
Word count:10426
Keywords:childbearing, fertility, Ukraine
Weblink:You will find all publications in this Special Collection “Childbearing Trends and Policies in Europe” at http://www.demographic-research.org/special/7/


This chapter provides an overview of the demographic situation in Ukraine, including explanations for the decline to very low fertility and changes in family policy. Drawing on official statistics, survey data, and focus group interviews, the analysis shows that the country’s decline to lowest-low fertility is primarily due to the postponement of or the reduction in second births, as opposed to the postponement of first births. The chapter includes a discussion on the link between low fertility and changing marriage patterns, contraceptive prevalence, and abortion. The author then reviews the evidence for the leading explanations of fertility decline in Ukraine, including economic uncertainty, social anomie, the Second Demographic Transition, and unequal gender relations. In addition, the author proposes unexplored factors that may lead to fertility limitation, such as the increasing difficulty of combining work and childrearing, insufficient housing, changes in intergenerational support, and the deterioration of health lifestyles and marital relations.

Author's Affiliation

Brienna Perelli-Harris - University of Southampton, United Kingdom [Email]

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