Fertility postponement and ‘recovery’ in the late-childbearing countries of Europe

Tomas Sobotka, Vienna Institute of Demography

This contribution provides an analysis of fertility trends in four European countries that are currently characterised by a very late pattern of first birth timing. Women in these four societies bear their first child above age 28 on average. The paper first introduces theoretical arguments which have been advanced to explain the shift towards the late pattern of first birth timing in each of these countries. A detailed period and cohort fertility analysis then investigates to what extent is the fertility decline among women at younger ages counterbalanced by fertility ‘recovery’ at higher reproductive ages. Period fertility trends are inspected using parity-specific fertility table indicators. The paper illustrates increasing contrasts between the four countries analysed and shows that the late pattern of first birth timing is not necessarily associated with low or very low fertility quantum.

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Presented in Poster Session 2