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John Casterline and Stuart Gietel-Basten

As home to 60% of the world’s population, population in Asia is truly a global issue. Fertility, as the primary determinant of contemporary population growth (and decline) is therefore of central importance. However, while much has been written about rates and trends in fertility – and respective macro-level causes and consequences – the underlying individual dynamics, namely fertility desires and preferences, are often overlooked. This chapter presents a state-of-the-art review of the ways by which fertility desires have (and have not) been integrated into the theoretical and empirical framework of demography in Asia. The chapter also draws out some of the key themes of the various chapters of the book, namely: son preference; whether sub-replacement fertility norms are emerging; the switch from excess to unrealized fertility; and the drivers behind the declining desire for children.

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Family Demography in Asia

A Comparative Analysis of Fertility Preferences

Edited by Stuart Gietel-Basten, John Casterline and Minja K. Choe

The demographic future of Asia is a global issue. As the biggest driver of population growth, an understanding of patterns and trends in fertility throughout Asia is critical to understand our shared demographic future. This is the first book to comprehensively and systematically analyse fertility across the continent through the perspective of individuals themselves rather than as a consequence of top-down government policies.