Exploring differences and similarities among women of different parities in Italy

Maria Letizia Tanturri, University of Florence

In Italy, cohorts born since the 40s have experienced a dramatic reduction of the proportion of high- parity women, while the two-children pattern has become prevalent. Recent estimates for cohorts born after 1960 reveal a steep increase of the proportion of childless women and a high proportion of those having just one child. Aim of this paper is to delineate the profiles of those women who can be considered “deviant” with respect to the normal and modal behaviour that consists of having two children. Their background characteristics and their partners’, together with the information on couple features in the first period of their union, are taken into account. Further investigation is dedicated to the motivations given for not having had a first or a further child. A discussion on possible family policies effects is also included. We analyse data from a quantitative survey conducted in 5 urban areas in 2002.

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Presented in Session 52: The correlates of low fertility