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The highest fertility in Europe - for how long?: the analysis of fertility change in Albania based on individual data

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Albania’s demographic changes have sparked considerable interest in recent years. Much of this attention has arisen due to a general lack of knowledge and unexpected demographic behaviour of the Albanian populations. The country has experienced a high level of life expectancy and relatively high levels of fertility in the recent years. While previous research gives some answers to developing trends and patterns of mortality and fertility change, not much is known about the demographic behaviour of Albanians. Though Falkingham and Gjonca (2001), using census data, provide useful insights into the fertility transition in Albania from 1950 to 1990, very little is known about fertility behaviour neither during the communist period nor during the nineties. From being one of the most isolated countries of the world, Albania has embarked on a remarkable transition which involves dramatic political and economic change. The new and emerging situation is bound to have profound impact on society and the behaviour of individuals within it. Using the 2002 Albanian Living Standard and Measurement Survey (ALSMS) we analyse fertility behaviour in terms of the quantum and tempo. Using survival analysis techniques the results suggest that the reduction of fertility was mainly due to the improvements in the social agenda, with particular emphasis on female education, as well as the improvement in child mortality. The results also reveal that 1990s saw some strong period effects which mainly affected the higher parities. The persistence of traditional norms and values continue to affect family formation in Albania, while the changes in the social and economic circumstances determine the outcome of childbearing.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/21981/

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