Realisation of birth intentions and its effect on population of Hungary in the next 50 years

Erzsébet Földházi, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute

The population of Hungary has been diminshing ever since the early 1980s. The reduction is the joint consequence of the low fertility and high mortality. The fertility decreased rapidly from 1990 until the beginning of 2000s, and since then it has been fluctuating around 1,3 total fertility rate (TFR). The fertility reached its historically deepest point in 2011 at 1,24 level of TFR. At the same time the researches concerning to values and attitudes show constantly the high importance of family and children in Hungary. The average number of children intended to give birth by young people is about two, but – as previously could be seen – a significant part of these children will not be born. In recent past several family policy measures came into effect in order to increase fertility. These measures can be effective because the young people intend to have more children than they actually have. The research question is that if birth intentions would be realised then how this influenced the number and age structure of population in Hungary in the next 50 years. The starting point is the last national population projection which was developed by using the final data of 2011 census. Population change due to happen as a consequence of a higher level of fertility will be comparised to the medium variant of population projection. Realising the higher birth intention has a favourable effect on aging and decreasing the number of population, but it is not enough to stop or reverse these tendencies, because the planned number of children does not reach the replacement level of fertility. This is why I investigate the question that which level of fertility would be necessary not only to moderate but to stop the population decrease in Hungary in the next half a century.

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Presented in Poster Session 3