Book Chapter

Concentration of reproduction in Austria: general trends and differentials by educational attainment and urban-rural setting

Spielauer, M.

In: Lutz, W., Feichtinger, G. (Eds.): Vienna yearbook of population research 2005, 171-195 (2005)
Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press.

ISBN 3-7001-3576-9

Keywords: Austria, fertility


In this paper, we explore the inter-individual diversity in fertility among women in Austria for the female birth cohorts 1917-1961. Comparative studies revealed that all Western countries have witnessed a decline in the concentration of reproduction during the 20th century, a trend that has reversed for the most recent cohorts which have reached the end of their reproductive period. This reversal, mainly triggered by an increase in childlessness, has been hardly perceptible in Austria and limited to urban municipalities. Changes in fertility and concentration have followed very different trajectories by educational attainment as well as by the type of municipality in which women lived at age 15. Within educational categories, we found large differentials by profession and intergenerational educational mobility. A consequence of the concentration of reproduction is that the level of cohort fertility differs from the average sibship size seen from the children’s perspective. In the Austrian case, in contrast to the pronounced fertility differentials by educational attainment, the average sibship size experienced by children became almost independent of parents’ education. In contrast to the negative correlation between fertility and concentration found in earlier studies for the first demographic transition and the baby boom, the fertility level and concentration moved in the same direction, and did so for an extended time period following the baby boom, accelerating changes from the children’s perspective.