Determinants of the Czech recent fertility transition

Jaroslav Kraus, Charles University, Prague

Currently, the Czech Republic belongs to lowest low fertility countries. The Czech total fertility rate was 1.18 in 2003 and the minimum was reported in 1999 with 1.13 children per woman. Should changes in Czech recent fertility trends be interpreted as new value orientations or adaptation to “crisis conditions” during the period of transition to a free market economy? The purpose of the paper is to investigate the significance of both issues. New value orientations (related to the theory of the second demographic transition) should appear as a diffusion process that first affects urbanized and upper social classes. On the contrary, an undifferentiated fall in fertility rates across the youngest birth cohorts should indicate crisis behavior more than intentional choice. The Czech fertility variation examined through birth cohorts according to education, marital status, community size, and region confirmed that “new family patterns” are not representative of the theory of the second demographic transition.

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Presented in Poster Session 2