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European population policy in the twentieth century: is it relevant for Australia?

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journal contribution
posted on 05.05.2017, 01:23 by McIntosh, Alison
Fertility in western Europe is now very low. This accelerates the ageing of the population, an effect which cannot be offset by any realistic level of immigration. Most couples are not restricting family size because they want to be childless or because they prefer one-child families; most would like to have two children. But economic insecurity and the problems women experience in combining paid work and motherhood prevent them from doing this. Policies in Sweden have reduced economic insecurity for families and have made it easier for women to participate in the labour force and to have children. These policies have raised fertility. In contrast, Italy has let events take their course and average family size there has fallen to 1.2 children. Copyright. Monash University and the author/s


Date originally published



People and place, vol. 6, no. 3 (1998), p. 1-16. ISSN 1039-4788