Large families in Germany. Socioeconomic and sociodemographic conditions for their development from a life course perspective

Linda Lux, Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)
Robert Naderi, Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)

Germany is one of the countries with lowest-low fertility in the world. A relatively high percentage of childless and a low share of large families are characteristically for the current German fertility. Recently research and policy measures are more focused on childlessness. Relatively little is known about conditions and situations in life of parents which lead to a decision not to have more than two children. Among the women born 1972 (in Germany) only 16.2 % had three or more children. On a descriptive level variables like migration background and education can be associated with large families. But a detailed, systematic consideration of socio-demographic and socioeconomic conditions in a longitudinal design is missing. In this paper we will examine which individual circumstances can have impact on a higher number of births of women in Germany. Our research question is based on their life–course: Therewith we have the intention to explore how the third birth or more are in relation to other events and circumstances in the relevant time. Besides description (e.g. survival analyses) a piecewise constant exponential model will be conducted. The latter is the core of the analyses of the transition to the third child and more. We use the SOEP (Socio-Economic Panel Study) which is a longitudinal survey of private households and persons in Germany. It started in 1984 and is released each year.

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 Presented in Session 51. European fertility