Is Romania going toward the one child family model?

Mihaela Hărăguş, Babes-Bolyai University, Centre for Population Studies

Fertility level in Romania is very low not because a significant increase in the proportion of childless women, but because the massive drop in second and higher order birth. The one child family has become more popular in Romania, especially in urban areas, and we may wonder whether it would become the norm, or the two or more children family would survive, especially in rural areas. We made our investigation on data from two national surveys, both conducted in 2004: Demography and Lifestyles of Romanian Women and Reproductive Health Survey. Our multivariate analysis focuses on the intention to have a first child now (within the next two years) or later, and on the intention to have a second child ever. We concentrate on differences between urban and rural areas, as patterns of reproductive behaviour are different. Our analysis showed that women in rural areas are less prone to postpone the first child and also more prone to have a second one. One of the most important effects is that of the activity status. With regard to having the first child now or later, not being employed halves the odds in urban areas, while for rural areas, the effect is not significant. With regard to having a second child ever, we found a reverse effect of employment status for urban areas: not being employed increases the odds for wanting a second child by 77%. While being involved in the labour market is an important precondition for wanting a child in the near future for women in urban areas, the same situation reduces the odds for wanting a second child ever. We also found significant effects of marital status, education, age, and frequency of church attendance, with different intensities in urban and rural areas.

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Presented in Session 71: Fertility Shifts in Central and Eastern Europe