Fertility and childbearing motivations



Anna Rotkirch, Research Professor,  Director of Population Research Institute, Väestöliitto

Venla Berg, Leading researcher at the Population Research Institute of Väestöliitto, PhD in psychology from the University of Helsinki.

WP1 focuses on social network effects on fertility and childbearing motivations (personal fertility ideals and intentions, perceived obstacles to and benefits of childbearing) using the Finnish Family Barometers and cross-national Generations and Gender Survey (GGS), and Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) surveys. GGS has a module on perceived uncertainty including economic (unemployment, income prospects) as well as social (thoughts about future, effects of climate change) uncertainty. Survey responses are linked with national register data to investigate triggers and regional variation in fertility decline in Finland, allowing us to follow realization of childbearing ideals and intentions over time, and for detailed analyses of quantitative and compositional characteristics of individuals’ social networks.

WP1 also contributes with subjective fertility indicators to social network measures of other WPs (e.g., values, intentions, future plans, social trust) as well as collects regional macro-economic indicators of fertility (changes in TFR 2000-2020 and projected changes for men and women, proportions of childless at 30, 45 and 65, average and variations in numbers of children, etc.). We are especially interested in the influence of perceived social and economic uncertainty and future-oriented optimism such as social trust and social support on fertility. We also examine how social networks may promote fertility resilience during adversities, using post-2008 economic depression and the COVID-19 pandemic as case examples.

The following themes are considered:

(T1) Type of social networks favouring childbearing

(T2) Perceptions of uncertainty, social support and fertility decline

(T3) Regional characteristics and fertility resilience


Liili Abuladze
Alyona Artamonova
Miika Mäki
Jose Luis Navarro
José Luis Estévez
Tiia Sorsa
Tiia Sorsa
Elisa Tambellini
Elisa Tambellini
Kateryna Golovina