Converge or Diverge? Examining Changes in Fertility, Family Structure, and Female Employment in Asia through an Extension of Data from the OECD Family Database

Yoon-Jeong Shin, Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs
Min Young Song, Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs

Most Asian countries have seen their fertility rates decline, although in different degrees. The distinctive features of country-specific declines depend on the level of socio-economic status, labor market condition and family and gender norms. However, adequate comparative analysis is hampered by a lack of regionally holistic data. This study is a novel analysis of data from Korea, Japan, China, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, Thailand, and Vietnam which has been collected based on selected indicators of the OECD Family Database. Ages at first birth and marriage are currently increasing in China, Thailand, and Vietnam as they did in the past in Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong SAR, while average household size is decreasing for all countries. Age specific female employment rates differ according to the gender roles and labor market condition of each country. This study addresses whether these changes in the Asia diverge or converge into some patterns.

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 Presented in Session P3. Fertility Intentions and Behaviors