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Population trends in the European Community, 1960-1986



Population trends in the European Community, 1960-1986



European Journal of Population 3(3-4): 281-296



Recent trends in fertility, marriage patterns and family formation in the 12 nations of the European Community are discussed. The total period fertility rate in this group of nations has dropped sharply (42%) since 1960, so that the annual growth was 0.15% in 1986. Immigration and the rate of mortality decline have also slowed. There are some variations in regional or national fertility, and in population growth as a result of age structure. The rate of population growth is slowing in all nations except Greece, Ireland and Portugal. The U.K., Belgium, Luxembourg and Denmark have experienced zero growth since 1980. Italy is close to zero growth. France, Netherlands and Spain have higher growth due to age structure. Ireland continues to grow at 1% yearly. In general, large families are disappearing, although different patterns are evident in various states. France shows high progression to the 1st child; many German couples choose to remain childless. People are marrying older, remaining unmarried, divorcing sooner, cohabiting before or after marriage. Non-marital births are common, especially in nordic countries, but still rare in Mediterranean countries. The restricted family norm, of 0, 1, or 2 children is becoming uniform, resulting in fertility well below, 15-40% of replacement.

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Accession: 047014029

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PMID: 12158951

DOI: 10.1007/bf01796902


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