Reconstructing the fertility pattern of the 1960’s Spanish birth cohort by parity progression ratios: crisis, what crisis?

Pau Miret Gamundi, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

This paper presents, in the first place, the evolution of the prevalence and timing of fertility by parity in Spain from 1975 to 2005: Fertility in Spain boomed from the late fifties till middle seventies, busted from then and has experienced a progressively recovery from 1997 until present days (the delay in the timing at motherhood is the demographic reason explains both the fertility decline and recovery during that period). Using these rates, longitudinal fertility patterns according to birth cohorts are drawn. In this sense, the paper provides a summary of the birth cohort behaviour in order to ascertain the extent to which cross-sectional evolution had left its print in the birth cohort’s patterns. From this analysis, it is clear that fertility has been postponed, leading to a progressively lower prevalence. Although timing has continued to be delayed, intensity has levelled off for those births cohorts born from late sixties onwards. Are we witnessing a fertility recovery from the 1960s baby-boomers? Indeed, we discover as a historical constant than the more usual family size had been always having 2 children. Moreover, the paper discovers than women born in the 1980s have experienced an inflexion point in their fertility patterns, as there is substantial evidence of an increase in fertility from younger ages and for all parities. In sum, there are signs of fertility cycles. In conclusion, we think fertility will continue going up, as it has done from 1997, due to, among other reasons, the fertility recovery started by younger birth cohorts.

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Presented in Session 81: Low Fertility in Southern Europe