The Impact of Unemployment on the Realization of Fertility Intentions

Part of the INED Population Studies book series (INPS, volume 7)


The sharp rise in unemployment among the under-35s since the start of the crisis in 2008 has not brought down the total fertility rate, which stood at 1.98 children per woman in metropolitan France in 2014, only marginally below its 2008 level (2.01). But this stability does not mean that unemployment does not affect individual behaviours.

This chapters shows, first, that childless unemployed people less frequently plan to have a child in the short term. Second, beyond fertility intentions, person with experience of unemployment less frequently have a first child.

However, the birth of another child (generally the second) follows a very different rationale. Having a second child is frequent in France (the ideal family has at least two children) and the decision depends mainly (but not solely) on the desired spacing between births. All in all, unemployment does not directly affect women’s childbearing plans, nor those of men who are already fathers.


Employment Status Union Formation Total Fertility Rate Fertility Decline Fertility Behaviour 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.French Institute for Demographic Studies (INED)Paris Cedex 20France

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