Fertility Development in the Baltic Countries Since 1990: a Transformation in the Context of Long-term Trends

  • Kalev Katus
  • Allan Puur
  • Luule Sakkeus
  • Asta Poldma
Keywords: fertility, family formation, societal transition, comparative analysis, Baltic countries

Abstract

The article addresses the transformation of fertility patterns in the Baltic countries since
the turn of the 1990s, in the context of long-term trends. The purpose of the study is to
compare the change in fertility level, parity distribution, timing of childbearing, and
the connection between marriage and childbearing in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania,
and analyze the position of the Baltic countries in a broader European perspective. Our
results indicate a salient role of tempo effects in the sharp decline of period fertility
measures that occurred in the region in the 1990s. Tempo-adjusted measures indicate
moderately low fertility levels of 1.6-1.7 children per woman in the region. In the recent
years, fertility levels have been rising in all three countries with recuperation being
more vigorous in Estonia and less so in Lithuania. Estonia and Latvia also appear
more advanced in terms of the spread of childbearing among cohabiting couples,
with the proportion of non-marital births comparable to Scandinavian countries. The
article discusses the factors underlying the observed similarities and dissimilarities
in fertility patterns, pointing to the plausible demographic path dependence.

Section
Articles
Published
Jan 1, 2009
How to Cite
Katus, K., Puur, A., Sakkeus, L., & Poldma, A. (2009). Fertility Development in the Baltic Countries Since 1990: a Transformation in the Context of Long-term Trends. Finnish Yearbook of Population Research, 44, 7-32. https://doi.org/10.23979/fypr.45042