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 11: Fertility preferences in Japan

Nobutaka Fukuda and Tomoko T. Saotome


Although the period fertility rate has reached the below-replacement level in Japan, scholarly attention has been hardly paid to a change in fertility preference. Hence, using the Japanese National Fertility Survey, we explore the patterns and characteristics of fertility preference in Japan. First of all, married women’s fertility preference has remained stable over the last few decades. In the second place, the planned number of children differs depending on wives’ educational qualifications. More specifically, as wives’ educational levels become higher, their planned number of children grows smaller. Third, while a preference for sons becomes gradually weak, daughters are more desired. Finally, although children born through assisted reproductive technologies (ART) treatments have been increasing in number since the 1990s, the dissemination of ART treatments had hardly any impact on the fertility preference of Japanese people. Many women, regardless of their age, are worried about their infertility and go to hospital for infertility treatments.

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