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How many children do women want and have? A comparative study of Chinese and Japanese fertility

Yun Zhou, Peking University

Population in East Asia has changed dramatically in the last 50 years. Total fertility rates (TFR) in East Asian countries have remained low in recent years. This paper discusses fertility intention among married Chinese and Japanese women based on surveys in both countries to generalize characteristics of fertility intention with different population and social policies as well as to compare intention with the actual fertility levels. Preliminary study results show that age, educational attainment, income and occupation affect the ideal number of children a married woman desires. The desired ideal number of children is different in the two countries; in Japan it is much higher than the TFR while that of China is closer to its TFR. This trend has been persistent in Japan over the years and China may follow the pattern.

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Presented in Session 193: The gap between desired and achieved fertility