Changes in family creation strategies and birth rates in Europe during two generations

Mare Vähi, University of Tartu
Ene-Margit Tiit, University of Tartu

During the last half-century – about two generations – a lot has changed in demographic behavior of Europeans. All these changes have the same direction: weakening family and kinship ties, increasing variability of family forms, decreasing birth rate and number of children in families. The changes started in Northern countries, where men and women have had for long time equal education and also women had the best access to labor-market and policy. In Southern Europe the baby-boom lasted longer, but in 80ies the birth rate started to decline and is now on quite low level. In countries of Eastern Europe the situation was somewhat different. Here the young women married early and had also children early. In early 90ies, the situation changed substantially and quite rapidly. The marriage rate and the birth rate declined during about 5 years also heavily. This situation has been analyzed using Estonia as an example.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Contexts