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Journal Article

Census-linked study on ethnic fertility differentials in Lithuania

Jasilioniene, A., Stankūnienė, V., Jasilionis, D.

Studies of Transition States and Societies, 6:2, 57-67 (2014)

Keywords: Lithuania, ethnic groups, fertility, total fertility

Abstract

Fertility transformations observed since the early 1990s and their determinants have been rather thoroughly investigated in Lithuania. There are fairly numerous national and international studies devoted to this topic, mainly based on survey data. However, none of these studies looks into the effect of ethnicity on fertility. It is, to a large extent, caused by limitations of sample survey data. This study demonstrates potentials of census-linked fertility data to estimate robust and nationally representative parity-specific period fertility measures by ethnicity. The findings of this first systematic study of ethnicity-specific fertility differentials in Lithuania indicate that ethnicity does matter for fertility even in such ethnically homogenous country as Lithuania. Fertility among Lithuanians is higher than in the other ethnic groups, especially among Russians. Lower fertility in the Russian ethnic group is mainly explained by differences in the risk of having the second child. Importantly, this disadvantage remains significant even after controlling for selected compositional characteristics including urban-rural place of residence and education. The approach used in this study may be applied for Latvia and Estonia, where national minorities constitute substantial shares of the entire populations and significantly contribute to overall fertility levels.

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