The Highest Fertility in Europe – For How Long? Analysis of Fertility Change in Albania Based on Individual Data

Arnstein Aassve, University of Essex
Arjan Gjonca, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Despite dramatic changes in Albanian demographic trends, relatively little is known about the driving forces behind its observed fertility decline. Using individual-level data from 2002, we analyse fertility behaviour over the last five decades, emphasising changes taking place during the nineties, when Albania went through dramatic social and economic upheavals. Using the Albanian Living Standard and Measurement Survey (ALSMS) and survival analysis techniques, we analyse quantum and tempo effects of fertility. The reduction of fertility was mainly due to the improvements in the social agenda, with particular emphasis on female education, as well as the improvement in child mortality. But the analysis also reveals strong period effects during the nineties which mainly affected the higher parities. The persistence of traditional norms and values continue to influence family formation in Albania, while the changes in the social and economic circumstances determine the outcome of childbearing.

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Presented in Session 84: Fertility Trends in Low Fertility Societies