Comparison of changes in reproductive behaviour in five European countries using the framework of the Second Demographic Transition

Helena Polesná

The aim of this work is to analyze the changes in reproductive behaviour in five countries of Europe using the framework of the second demographic transition. The Czech Republic, Estonia, The Netherlands, Finland and Portugal were selected. Within theoretical concept of the second demographic transition the research of the effect of cultural factors was particularly stressed as they are considered to be the main factors of stimulation of the changes. Besides demographic analysis of reproductive behaviour, attention was focused on the analysis of value orientation and attitudes towards new form partnerships and childbearing of selected populations. In view of the fact, that the part of the theory of second demographic transition is a shift towards postmaterialism, the attention was focused on this aspect as well. It was found out, that changes in value orientation in the post-communistic countries couldn´t had been the only determinant of changes in reproductive behaviour. The European-wide mechanism of the differentiation in value orientations has been identified. The holders of liberal and individualistic values have been found to be higher educated, young, unmarried and living in larger cities. The results suggested post-communist countries have been approaching, the North-western European countries. However, important the Czech Republic seems to be much further in the process of the second demographic transition in comparison with Estonia. Interestingly post-materialist orientation of respondents has been found in post-communist countries already from the 1990s. The existence of common factors behind the second demographic transition in all countries under study was confirmed. Different trajectories have been identified for all five countries using the concept of the standard time sequences in the course of the second demographic transition in Europe. The causes of the different paths in the countries under study are probably of cultural, social, historical, religious and economic character.

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Presented in Poster Session 2