Low fertility in Serbia: new insights

Mirjana Rasevic, Institute of Social Sciences, Belgrade

Objective: The key objective of this paper is to analyse Serbia's 2011 Population Census results related to the fertility. Results: The age cohorts that were past the reproductive age in 2011 had, on average, between 1.88 children (generation born in 1930) and 1.75 children (generations born in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940 and 1941), while the most frequently recorded average number of live births was about 1.8. The youngest age cohort of women who were past the reproductive age in 2011 (the generation born in 1962) had 1.82 children on average. The average number of live births by women who were approaching the end of their reproductive age at the time of the 2011 Census showed a continuous decrease from 1.81 (the generation of 1963) to 1.55 (the generation of 1975). The registered difference of 0.26 children per woman is substantial. Although younger cohorts still have a chance of participating in reproduction, the identified markedly lower average number of live births by women aged between 36 and 40 compared to women aged 41 and over seems to imply that the completed fertility in Serbia can be forecast to diverge from the stabilised low value and decline below the 1.8 mark. This is especially in view of the fact that a large number of women in the 20–24 age bracket (82%), more than a half (55%) of women aged 25–29 and about a third (31%) of those aged 30–34 were childless at the time of the 2011 Population Census. Conclusion: The results of the 2011 Population Census suggest that the childbearing crisis in Serbia will not only continue, but will probably deepen, as well.

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 Presented in Session P2. Poster Session 2