Cohort process to the lowest fertility in Poland and Japan: finding a common path in distant societies

Ryuichi Kaneko, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Japan
Ewa Fratczak, Warsaw School of Economics

In this study, the cohort processes to the recent decline of the Polish and Japanese fertility to historical low are compared in terms of lifetime measures of first marriage and birth by birth order. Timing and prevalence measures of those life events are estimated and projected with empirically adjusted Coale-McNeil model for female cohorts of both states. The results indicate yet unrevealed changes in demographic behaviors of young cohorts in both societies despite numerous different settings. Delay in marriage and birth due to compositional changes such as prevalence of high educational attainment in cohorts initiates the process, followed by the diffusion of never marrying caused by the further postponement, and finally continuing diffusion of never-marrying at an accelerating pace caused by intentional retreat. The observed similarities of the process in both countries shed light on search of universal path toward the lowest fertility in many followers (countries with low fertility).

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Presented in Session 52: Socioeconomic influences on fertility