Fertility and Family Policies in Central and Eastern Europe after 1990

Thumbnail Image
Frejka, Tomas
Gietel-Basten, Stuart
Курило, Ирина
Krimer, Borys
Aksyonova, Svitlina
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This paper examines fertility and family policies in 15 Central and East European (CEE) countries to establish firstly, likely directions of cohort fertility trends for the coming decade; and secondly, to provide an overview and analysis of family policies in CEE countries, and to assess their impact on cohort fertility trends. Demographic analysis suggests that the cohort fertility decline of the 1960s cohorts is likely to continue at least among the 1970s birth cohorts; stagnation cannot be ruled out. Births that were postponed by women born in the 1970s were not being replaced in sufficient numbers for cohort fertility to increase in the foreseeable future, and shares of low parity women (childless and one child) were larger than shares of high parity women among the late 1960s cohorts than in older cohorts. Also, childbearing postponement which started in the 1990s is reflected in dramatic changes of childbearing age patterns. As period fertility rates have been increasing in the late 2000s throughout the region an impression of a fertility recovery has been created, however the findings of this project indicate that no such widespread childbearing recovery is underway. For the first time ever an overview and analysis of CEE family policies is conceptualized in this paper. It demonstrates that fertility trends and family policies are a matter of serious concern throughout the region. The following family policy types have been identified: comprehensive family policy model; pro-natalist policies model; temporary male bread-winner model; and conventional family policies model. The majority of family policies in CEE countries suffer from a variety of shortcomings that impede them from generating enhanced family welfare and from providing conditions for cohort fertility to increase. The likely further decline of cohort fertility, or its stagnation, may entail long-term demographic as well as other societal consequences, such as continuous declines in total population numbers, changes in age structures, as well as implications for health and social security costs.
Contributing authors: Liga Abolina (University of Latvia), Liili Abuladze (Estonian Interuniversity Population Research Centre), Svitlina Aksyonova (Mykhailo Ptukha Institute of Demography and Social Research, Kiev), AnDelko Akrap (University of Zagreb), Ekaterina Antipova (Belarusian State University), Mirjana Bobic (University of Belgrade), Ivan Cipin (University of Zagreb), Liudmila Fakeyeva (Belarusian State University), lonut Foldes (Babes-Bolyai University), Aiva Jasilioniene (MPIDR), Dora Kostova (MPIDR), Irena Kotowska (Warsaw School of Economics), Boris Krimer (Mykhailo Ptukha Institute of Demography and Social Research, Kiev), Elena von der Lippe (Robert Koch Institute, Berlin), Iryna Kurylo (Mykhailo Ptukha Institute of Demography and Social Research, Kiev), Ausra Maslauskaite (Demographic Research Centre of Vy- tautas Magnus University, Kaunas), Julia Mikolai (University of Liverpool), Cornelia Muresan (Babes-Bolyai University), Vasic Petar (University of Belgrade), Michaela Potancokova (Vienna Institute of Demography), Tatyana Pronko (UNFPA in Belarus), Allan Puur (Estonian Interuniversity Population Research Centre), Mirjana Rasevic (Institute of Social Sciences), Anna Rybinska (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Luule Sakkeus (Estonian Interuniversity Population Research Centre), Joze Sambt (University of Ljubljana), Tomas Sobotka (Vienna Institute of Demography), Branislav Sprocha (Slovak Demographic Research Centre), Rebecca Staddon (University of Oxford), Vlada Stankuniene (Demographic Research Centre of Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas), Anna Stastna (Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs, Prague), Marin Strmota (University of Zagreb), Nada Stropnik (Institute for Economic Research, Slovenia), Krzysztof Tymicki (Warsaw School of Economics), Anatoly Vishnevsky (Institute of Demography, Higher School of Economics, State University, Moscow), Sergei Zakharov (Institute of Demography, Higher School of Economics, State University, Moscow), Krystof Zeman (Vienna Institute of Demography), Peteris Zvidrins (University of Latvia)
fertility, family policies, Central and Eastern Europe, International comparative analysis, family policy typology
Fertility and Family Policies in Central and Eastern Europe after 1990 / Frejka Tomas, Gietel-Basten Stuart, Kurylo Iryna, Krimer Boris, Aksyonova Svitlina [et al.] // Comparative Population Studies. - 2016. - Vol. 41 (1). - P. 3-56.