Policy responses to low fertility: How effective are they?

Working Paper No. 1

No. of pages: 98

Publication Date: May 2019

Author: Tomáš Sobotka, Anna Matysiak, Zuzanna Brzozowska

Publisher: UNFPA

In the last three decades sub-replacement fertility has spread around the world. One half of the global population today lives in countries where the period Total Fertility Rate is below 2.1 births per woman.

East Asia, Southern Europe and parts of Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe reached “ultra-low” fertility rates, with the period Total Fertility at 1.0-1.4 and family size at 1.4-1.6 births per woman born in the mid-1970s. This working paper aims to summarize the available evidence on the effects of family policies on fertility, combining literature review with empirical illustrations for selected countries and policy interventions. It also discusses the complexity of the policy-fertility links.

This is part of a series of a UNFPA technical working paper series. 

Paper No. 2 in this series is: Low fertility: A review of the determinants

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Classic demographic transition theory assumed that fertility would decline from high levels and stabilize at the replacement level of around 2.1 children per woman. Yet one-half of the global population now lives in a country where period fertility rates have fallen below 2.1...

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