Fertility Patterns in Formerly Socialist Countries of Europe: Are They Converging with the West?

Tomas Frejka, Independent Consultant
Stuart A. Basten, University of Oxford

This is the first paper of the project “Prospects for a fertility increase in the formerly socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe,” a joint undertaking of scholars from ±15 countries. It includes a list of all collaborators. The paper addresses the questions: What have been the fertility trends in these formerly socialist countries in a transformed societal -social, economic, and political - milieu? Might fertility increase in the foreseeable future? We outline the precipitous fall in fertility in the 1990s resulting from a quantum fertility decline combined with a comparatively rapid childbearing postponement. The apparent period TFR increase of the 2000s is explained. The paper concludes by illustrating that thus far it appears these countries will continue to have very low fertility, while there are signs fertility patterns in some countries are starting to resemble those of West European countries. The analysis is restricted to a demographic analysis.

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Presented in Session 40: Low Fertility