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Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series

The Journal of Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun

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Urbanisation and changes in fertility pattern in Poland and in the selected countries of Western and Southern Europe

Sławomir Kurek1 / Milena Lange1

Institute of Geography, Departament of Socio-economic Geography, Pedagogical University of Cracow, Podchorążych 2, 30-084 Kraków, Poland1

Institute of Statistics and Demography, Department of Demography and Social Gerontology, University of Lodz, Rewolucji 1905 r. 41, 90-214 Łódź, Poland2

This content is open access.

Citation Information: Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series. Volume 17, Issue 17, Pages 77–85, ISSN (Print) 1732-4254, DOI: 10.2478/v10089-012-0008-2, June 2012

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Urbanisation and changes in fertility pattern in Poland and in the selected countries of Western and Southern Europe

Since the beginning of the 1990s profound changes have occurred in reproductive behaviour in Central and Eastern Europe. They involve a sudden fall in the fertility rate, accompanied by an increase in the age of mothers giving birth to their first child, and a growth in the percentage of extramarital births. A similar course of changes in reproductive behaviour was observed almost a decade earlier in the countries of Southern Europe (Greece, Spain and Italy), and at the beginning of the 1960s in the countries of Western Europe (e.g. France). The aim of the study is to show the spatial changes in the fertility pattern in Poland compared to the selected European countries - Italy, Spain and France. Since new fertility patterns take hold most quickly among the inhabitants of large cities, as a result of the weaker effects of tradition and earlier formation of social norms owing to suburbanisation processes, the analysis of changes in reproductive behaviours will be conducted in the context of changes in urbanisation level. The time frame of the study encompasses an extended duration, especially taking into account the period of 1970-2010. For the comparison of large cities, data from 2010 or the nearest available were examined.

Keywords: Europe; Poland; urbanisation; fertility; reproductive behaviour

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