Demographic Data

At a Glance Projects Publications Team


Fertility and Family Patterns at National and International Levels

Aiva Jasilioniene, Domantas Jasilionis; in Collaboration with Evgeny M. Andreev, Elena Churilova (both: National Research University – Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation), Sebastian Klüsener (Federal Institute for Population Research, Wiesbaden, Germany), Aušra Maslauskaitė, Vladislava Stankūnienė (both: Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania), Viktoriya Yuodeshko (Research Institute of Labour, Belarus)

Detailed Description

This project entails a number of studies looking at the patterns of fertility and family formation in developed countries based both on individual- and population-level data.

The first set of studies analyzes sociodemographic and socioeconomic fertility, marriage, and divorce differentials in Lithuania on the basis of census-linked longitudinal data. The dataset is the first of this type for the Central and Eastern European region. It consists of individual records from the 2001 and 2011 censuses linked to corresponding birth, marriage, divorce, death, and migration records from the population register. The great advantage is that it covers the entire population of Lithuania and thus provides substantial numbers of person-years of exposure and demographic events that can be used to generate statistically robust estimations of demographic rates for a variety of sociodemographic groups. The data on the key independent sociodemographic and socioeconomic variables (e.g., education, economic activity status, number of children, and urban-rural residence) come from the two censuses.

Another set of studies investigates family formation and dissolution patterns as well as their changes across countries and over time, based on survey data, including data from the Generations and Gender Surveys. The studies look at family formation trajectories in different countries of Europe and examine at which stages of these trajectories child birth occurs and how it affects the sequencing of other important events related to family formation (e.g., marriage, separation). Using selected demographic, social, and cultural predictors, we analyze the risk of divorce in first marriage in four countries of Central and Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, Russia, Lithuania, and Poland. In particular, we are interested in testing whether the social and cultural similarities and differences identified among these countries are also reflected in divorce behavior. Using the 2017 Belarusian GGS, we investigate forces driving the period fertility increase in Belarus, witnessed from the early 2000s to almost the late 2010s. Given that similar upwards trends in fertility were observed also in other Eastern European countries, we explore the likelihood of an Eastern European “baby boom” having occurred.

The third focus of this project is devoted to studying the impact of the economic crisis in the 2000s on fertility trends in Europe. Our first findings, which were obtained using population-level fertility and unemployment data, suggest that there is a strong relationship between the economic crisis and fertility changes. However, the impact of the crisis varies significantly depending on the region, the age group, and parity.

Finally, we investigate changes in contraceptive behavior in Central and Eastern European countries. One study compared the birth-control practices and the abortion dynamics in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. The analysis has shown a significant divergence between these countries in the use of modern contraceptive methods and in abortion trends, but the responsible factors are not clear-cut. Differences in government policies in the area of reproductive health and family planning seem to contribute largely to the observed divergence.

This research has been supported in part by the Max Planck Society within the framework of the project "On the edge of societies: New vulnerable populations, emerging challenges for social policies and future demands for social innovation. The experience of the Baltic Sea States" (2016–2021).

Research Keywords:

Family Behavior, Fertility Development

Region keywords:



Klüsener, S.; Jasilioniene, A.; Yuodeshko, V.:
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2019-014. (2019)    
Nisén, J.; Klüsener, S.; Dahlberg, J.; Dommermuth, L.; Jasilioniene, A.; Kreyenfeld, M.; Lappegård, T.; Li, P.; Martikainen, P.; Neels, K.; Riederer, B.; te Riele, S.; Szabó, L.; Trimarchi, A.; Viciana, F.; Wilson, B.; Myrskylä, M.:
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2019-018. (2019)    
Klüsener, S.; Goldstein, J. R.:
Population, Space and Place 22:1, 5–22. (2016)
Maslauskaite, A.; Jasilioniene, A.; Jasilionis, D.; Stankūnienė, V.; Shkolnikov, V. M.:
Demographic Research 33:30, 871–908. (2015)
Jasilioniene, A.; Stankūnienė, V.; Jasilionis, D.:
Studies of Transition States and Societies 6:2, 57–67. (2014)
Goldstein, J. R.; Kreyenfeld, M. R.; Jasilioniene, A.; Karaman Örsal, D. D.:
Demographic Research 29:4, 85–104. (2013)
Scholz, R. D.; Voigt, M.; Schneider, K.-T. M.; Rochow, N.; Hagenah, H.-P.; Hesse, V.; Straube, S.:
Geburtshilfe und Frauenheilkunde 73:12, 1247–1251. (2013)
Voigt, M.; Wittwer-Backofen, U.; Scholz, R. D.; Schneider, K.-T. M.; Straube, S.; Olbertz, D. M.; Hesse, V.; Rochow, N.:
Zeitschrift für Geburtshilfe und Neonatologie 217:6, 211–214. (2013)
Denisov, B. P.; Sakevich, V. I.; Jasilioniene, A.:
PLoS One 7:11, e49986–e49986. (2012)
Perelli-Harris, B.; Kreyenfeld, M. R.; Sigle-Rushton, W.; Keizer, R.; Lappegård, T.; Jasilioniene, A.; Berghammer, C.; Di Giulio, P.:
Population Studies 66:2, 167–182. (2012)
Goldstein, J. R.; Sobotka, T.; Jasilioniene, A.:
Population and Development Review 35:4, 663–699. (2009)
Leonavièius, V.; Jasilionis, D.:
In: Lietuvos ðeima: tarp tradicijos ir naujos realybës [The Lithuanian family: between tradition and new realities], 367–425. Vilnius: Institute for Social Research. (2009)
Perelli-Harris, B.; Kreyenfeld, M. R.; Sigle-Rushton, W.; Keizer, R.; Lappegård, T.; Jasilioniene, A.; Berghammer, C.; Di Giulio, P.; Köppen, K.:
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2009-021. (2009)    
Stankūnienė, V.; Jasilionis, D.:
Vilnius: Institute for Social Research. (2009)
Jasilioniene, A.:
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2007-025. (2007)    
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