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How Low Can Fertility Be? An Empirical Exploration

Antonio Golini
Population and Development Review
Vol. 24, No. 1 (Mar., 1998), pp. 59-73
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/2808122
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2808122
Page Count: 15
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How Low Can Fertility Be? An Empirical Exploration
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Abstract

The author seeks to evaluate a possible minimum of both cohort and period fertility in a present-day population of large size. He argues that a fertility floor other than zero may be posited for several reasons. Based on European experiences he considered a situation in which 20 to 30 percent of women in a cohort remain childless and the remaining 70 to 80 percent have only one child. According to this empirically based hypothesis, a total fertility rate between 0.7 and 0.8 can be taken as the lower bound for cohort fertility. If the mean age at birth increases over time, the period total fertility rate could become temporarily about 9 percent less than the constant total fertility of cohorts that contribute to it.

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