Fertility intentions, family size in comparison – Hungary and Transylvania

Valer Veres, Babes-Bolyai University
Zsolt Spéder, Demografic Research Institute Budapest

In this paper we analyzed the willingness to have children of the Hungarian population living in Hungary and Romania (Transylvania). Out intention was to shed light on individual motivations behind present and future parenting practices, the extent to which the willingness to have children differs in these two societies and the parenting practices they point to. Our data source is represented by the survey Turning Points of the Life Course carried out in 2004 and 2005 in Hungary and Romania, which is part of a big international survey: Generation and Gender Program (GGP) aimed at revealing the characteristics of the new European demographical behaviour related to „second demographical transition”. These research frames, bolstered by the above premises, offer numerous new research opportunities. The data collection from Hungary and Transylvania, the similarity of questions at different levels makes it possible to compare the key characteristics of individual and family demographical behaviour and the decisive aspects of the Hungarian and Transylvanian Hungarian societies. Summarising, we may assert that correlations and relations point to the same direction. There are no differences in size between the willingness to have children among Hungarians from Hungary and Hungarians from Transylvania, the parenting intentions of men and women are basically the same and inasmuch as the willingness to have children are dispersed according to social and demographical criteria they point to the same direction. The average level of the willingness to have children does not differ substantially either. At the same time, if we consider the results of cohort analyses, that women have their first child at a younger age, then from the point of view of the entire 20-44 age group sample we may presume that the fertility of Hungarians from Transylvania is somewhat lower than that of women living in Hungary.

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Presented in Session 48: Comparative research on fertility in CEE