The influence of childbearing regional contexts on ideal family size in Europe.

Maria Rita Testa, Leonardo. Grilli

    Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


    It is widely agreed that understanding young people’s preferences for ideal family size may shed light on future fertility levels. In the current context of low fertility across Europe, Maria Rita Testa and Leonardo Grilli look at the question in reverse. Using data from the 2001 Eurobarometer survey covering the 72 regions and 15 countries making up the European Union at that time, they reveal a strong association between young people’s reported ideal family size and the fertility behaviours observed in the previous generation. Does this reflect the transmission of family norms, or a broader social learning process? Or could this be a durable cross-generational contextual effect which, after influencing the fertility of earlier cohorts, is now shaping the preferences of young people? As the authors themselves acknowledge, their data are unable to answer these questions. But with regard to the diffusion of fertility behaviour, their results offer a significant contribution in a challenging area of research.
    Seiten (von - bis)107 - 137
    PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2006