20 feb 2018


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Lowest-Low and Latest-Late Fertility: Here to Stay? An Examination of the 2017 Fertility Survey.

(2018 – 2021)

Financed by the National Plan for Scientific Research of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Ref. CS02017-89397-R).

Participating entities: Spanish National Research Council (CSIC); UNED; UCM; UPNA; U.República Uruguay.

Project leaders: Teresa Martín–García and Teresa Castro-Martín.

Researchers: Wanda Cabella, Julia Cordero, Maria Dardoumpa, Tatiana Eremenko, Amparo González, Irene Lapuerta, Ignacio Pardo, Marta Seiz, Inma Serrano.


This project aims to analyze in depth the reproductive patterns of women and men in Spain in a social context characterized by late residential and economic emancipation of young people, a higher educational level of women than men in the most recent cohorts, broad job precariousness and uncertainty about the future, significant cultural diversification linked to immigration, and scarce defamiliarization of care. In addition to a detailed description of recent changes and emerging patterns, the project aims to identify the causal factors underlying the pattern of differentiated fertility observed in Spain, and generally in southern Europe, compared to northern Europe.

The contrast between northern and southern Europe will serve as a reference framework for interpreting recent developments, diagnosing the present situation and predicting the future trajectory of fertility. The ultimate aim of the project is to determine whether the current Mediterranean reproductive pattern –based on an unfavorable economic and labor situation, a scarce welfare regime and gender relations that are still not very egalitarian– is a transient historical anomaly or if it is here to stay. In the last case, which responds to a regional logic of its own and questions many of the classical assumptions of demographic theories of fertility.

The originality of this scientific proposal rests on how the topic will be assessed: a) integrating a life course, gender and social stratification approach; b) analyzing the intersection of reproductive biographies with the conjugal, educational, and labor biographies of individuals; c) prioritizing a comparative perspective, analyzing jointly the INE Fertility Survey 2017 and the Generations and Gender Surveys of other European countries; d) incorporating both women and men into the analysis; e) applying event history analysis as statistical tool and f) integrating a micro and macro perspective through multi–level analysis (regions and countries).

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