Low Fertility in East-Central Europe: The Relative Roles of Values, Economics, and Religion

Amy K Johnson, University of Pennsylvania

A core theme among demographic studies has been the dramatic trend toward reduced fertility. The goal of this analysis is to examine the relative roles of specific factors in predicting within-country variance in fertility across regions of East-Central Europe. Using the 1999 round of the World Values Survey, respondent's number of children is regressed on an index gauging child-specific values, both individual and country-level measures of economic well-being, and affiliation with the dominant religions of the area. Preliminary findings support that a second demographic transition of sorts is currently diffusing through the more Eastern regions, but has already settled into equilibrium in the Northwest. That urban residence and child quality preferences are more predictive in areas further East is suggestive of this. The apparently small role of income and religion suggests more secular or post-material value orientations may be already driving much of the fertility outcomes.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Fertility, Family Planning, Reproductive Health