Religious Context, Religiosity, and Cross-National Differences in Fertility

Catherine Jeppsen, Pennsylvania State University

Religion is frequently invoked as an explanation for childbearing decisions, fertility rates, and family size norms. However, research on the association between religion and fertility is fairly limited; researchers seldom include empirical measures for religious context, and they typically include only one or a few measures to represent individual religiosity. Research that does include broad, multidimensional depictions of religious influence are generally limited to a specific location. In this paper I address these limitations by including multiple measures for religious context and individual religiosity in 59 countries to determine the association between religion and fertility. I conclude that, in some cases, religious context and individual religiosity are associated with fertility and that individual-level relationships vary by context.

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 Presented in Session P3. Fertility Intentions and Behaviors