Family Demography in Asia
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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.
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Chapter 6: Fertility preferences in Central Asia

Thomas Spoorenberg


The past and current population development of the countries of Central Asia has received surprisingly little attention from demographers. If few studies have focused on investigating the changes in marriage, fertility and mortality in one or more countries of the region, fertility preferences have been largely disregarded. This chapter offers an exploratory investigation of the fertility preferences in the five Central Asian countries. Using sample survey data, the analysis first examines the fertility intentions of women in Central Asia and considers then if their reported fertility intentions were implemented in their reproductive behaviours. The study reveals strong fertility desire for an additional child regardless of the number and composition of the children already born, as well as higher desire for boys. These preferences in the fertility intentions are somewhat implemented in the region, especially among women who have had at least two children and those are only girls. These results and the likely future development of fertility in the region are discussed in the light of the experience of the countries of the Caucasus.

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