Strong Family and Low Fertility: A Paradox?

New Perspectives in Interpreting Contemporary Family and Reproductive Behaviour

  • Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna
  • Giuseppe A. Micheli

Part of the European Studies of Population book series (ESPO, volume 14)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-6
  2. Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna, Giuseppe A. Micheli
    Pages 7-21
  3. Alessandro Rosina
    Pages 23-43
  4. David S. Reher
    Pages 45-76
  5. Giuseppe A. Micheli
    Pages 77-104
  6. Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna
    Pages 105-125
  7. Giuseppe A. Micheli
    Pages 127-160
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 161-178

About this book


New perspectives in interpreting contemporary family and reproductive - haviour of Mediterranean Europe 1. THE NEW GEOGRAPHY OF FERTILITY AND THE FAMILY IN EUROPE The countries of southern Europe have begun to reduce conjugal fertility at a later date compared to most other nations in the west. This has been - plained by means of the category of delay: the backwardness of the pr- esses of accumulation and economic development being seen as the cause of the maintaining of the reproductive models of the past. Moreover, the inf- ence of the Catholic Church in Italy, Spain and Portugal is supposed to have delayed the processes of secularisation, rendering difficult the changes in mentality necessary for assuming modern patterns of reproductive behaviour not only for fertility, but also for the variables which are strictly linked to it, such as sexuality, contraception and abortion (Livi Bacci, 1977; Lesthaeghe and Wilson, 1986). 1. 1. The trends of very low fertility Now the panorama is very different. Since the mid-seventies, southern Europe has been washed by the tide of a lowest-low fertility (i. e. , TFR under 1. 5 for several a prolonged period, Billari et al. , 2003), which in some areas 1 has reached and maintained scarcely imaginable levels for years on end. Conversely, other areas of Europe, where fertility started to fall many d- ades earlier than in the regions of the sourth, have recovered or maintained considerably higher levels of fertility, often close to replacement level.


ETA Europe Italy behavior demography family science social network

Editors and affiliations

  • Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna
    • 1
  • Giuseppe A. Micheli
    • 2
  1. 1.University of PaduaItaly
  2. 2.Catholic University of MilanItaly

Bibliographic information