Recent Features of Cohabitational and Marital Fertility in Romania

Jan M. Hoem  By the same author

      Cornelia Mureşan  By the same author

      Mihaela Hărăguş  By the same author


Until the late 1980s there was little non-marital cohabitation in Romania. After the fall of state socialism, the overall fraction in consensual unions grew steadily, and by 2005 it had reached some 10%. This development had consequences for the patterns of childbearing. The present paper presents selected features of fertility in consensual and marital unions in Romania over the period 1985-2005 based on the data from the national Generations and Gender Survey conducted in Romania in 2005. To this end we use underlying fertility rates specified by union duration and utilize a metric based on an aggregation of such rates over all durations, irrespective of parity. We also highlight groups of women who have been particularly prone to have children outside marriage, namely women with a low educational attainment and women of a rural origin. Women in consensual unions in these two groups were strongly affected by the dramatic changes in family policies around 1990, and their aggregate fertility in cohabitational unions in subsequent years is similar to that of marital unions. For the fertility of partnered women in the two groups, it does not seem to matter much whether they are married or not.