Investigating Family Size Differentials by Religiosity Across Europe: National Contexts, Expectations and Outcomes

In: Journal of Religion and Demography
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Lausanne

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€29.95$34.95

In most European countries more religious people have more children than the secular and are less likely to remain childless. However, in some ex-communist states this association is subdued or even inverted. This study investigates not only fertility and partnering outcomes, but also differences in the level of desire for a child. Four contrasting countries are compared: Austria, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Georgia. We found the more religious had higher expectations that a child would bring joy into their life than the non-religious. The religious ‘nones’ tend to be very worried about the financial impact of a(nother) child and negative effect on their sex life; these concerns are much less prevalent among active Christians. In Georgia, where highly educated young people are more religious than the old, differentials by religiosity are small. History and context cause the impact of personal religiosity on fertility behavior and attitudes to be potentially divergent.

  • Baudin T. , 2015. Religion and fertility: The French connection. Demographic Research, 32, pp. 397420.

  • Buber-Ennser I. and Skirbekk V. , 2016. Researchers, religion and childlessness. Journal of biosocial science, 48(3), pp. 391405.

  • Burkimsher M. , 2014. Is religious attendance bottoming out? An examination of current trends across Europe. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 53(2), pp. 432445.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Burkimsher M. and Zeman K. 2017. Childlessness in Switzerland and Austria. In Kreyenfeld Michaela and Konietzka Dirk (eds.), Childlessness in Europe: Patterns, Causes, and Contexts, Springer, pp. 115137.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Call V.R. and Heaton T.B. , 1997. Religious influence on marital stability. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 36(3) pp. 382392.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coenen-Huther Josette . 2005. Le souhait d’enfant: un idéal situé. In Le Goff J-M , Sauvin-Dugerdil C. , Rossier C. and Coenen-Huther J. (Eds.): Maternité et parcours de vie: L’enfant a-t-il toujours une place dans les projets des femmes en Suisse? Peter Lang, Berne: 85133.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Doebler S. and Shuttleworth I. , 2018. Religious identification, switching, and apostasy among Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland: Individual and cohort dynamics between two censuses 2001–2011. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 57(4), pp. 723–742.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frejka T. , 2008. Overview Chapter 2: Parity distribution and completed family size in Europe: Incipient decline of the two-child family model? Demographic Research, 19, pp. 4772.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frejka T. and Westoff C.F. , 2008. Religion, religiousness and fertility in the US and in Europe. MPIDR Working Paper WP 2006-013 pp. 125.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kaufman E. , 2010. Sacralization by Stealth? The Religious Consequences of Low Fertility in Europe. Paper presented at Social Trends Institute experts meeting, “Whither the Child?” Barcelona, Spain, March 2010.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Koenig H.G. , 2012. Religion, spirituality, and health: The research and clinical implications. International Scholarly Research network isrn Psychiatry, 2012, Article ID 278730, pp. 133.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kravdal Ø. and Rindfuss R.R. , 2008. Changing relationships between education and fertility: A study of women and men born 1940 to 1964. American Sociological Review, 73(5), pp. 854873.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Peri-Rotem N. , 2016. Religion and fertility in Western Europe: Trends across cohorts in Britain, France and the Netherlands. European Journal of Population, 32(2), pp. 231265.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rossier C. , Sauvain-Dugerdil C. and Bernardi L. . 2018. Bien-être des individus dans des familles non-standards en Suisse. LIVES Working Paper 60, pp. 120.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 274 216 3
Full Text Views 32 20 1
PDF Views & Downloads 23 15 3