Marital fertility and religion in Spain, 1985 and 1999

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Since the transition to democracy in Spain in 1975, both total fertility and rates of church attendance of Catholics have dropped dramatically. In this study the 1985 and 1999 Spanish Fertility Surveys were used to investigate whether the significance of religion for fertility behaviour - current family size and the spacing of births - changed between the survey dates. In the 1985 survey, family size was similar for those Catholics who actively participated in religious activities and those who, though nominally Catholic, were not active participants. By 1999, the family size of the latter was lower and comparable to the family size of those without religious affiliation. These findings accord with the declines in both church attendance and fertility in Spain. The small groups of Protestants and Muslims had the highest fertility. Women in inter-faith unions had relatively low fertility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-221
Number of pages17
JournalPopulation Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • History


  • Catholic
  • Fertility
  • Protestant
  • Religion
  • Spain


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