Union status and first birth in Bulgaria

Dora Kostova, Center for Population Studies, Sofia

This study aims to investigate the impact of union status on the transition to first birth in Bulgaria. Past studies have found that during the socialist time the general pattern of union formation was early and nearly universal marriage. According to the census in 2001 13.1% of the population in reproductive age in Bulgaria lives in non-marital unions. The second important issue is the swift and considerable increase in extra-marital fertility – from 12% in 1990 to 43% in 2002. Since most of the births in Bulgaria during the pre-transitional period were given within marriage, there is no other research focusing on the differences between cohabiting and married women’s decisions about the timing of entry into parenthood. The aim of the study is to produce some results on fertility behaviour of non-marital unions in Bulgaria and to examine how socioeconomic factors (education, ethnicity, region of residence) determine this behaviour.

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Presented in Poster Session 2