Fertility Intentions and Behavior in a Lowest-Low Fertility Country: Findings from Korea

Erin Hye-Won Kim, Duke University

While there has been a growing literature on low fertility in developed Western countries, little is known about the phenomenon in Asian countries. It is a question of great interest whether the findings from the former apply to the very different context in the latter. The Korean Longitudinal Survey of Women and Families is the first nationally-representative longitudinal survey that contains information both on women’s fertility behavior and on their fertility intentions in Korea. Using these data, I assess to what extent women achieve their intended fertility over time, providing clues about whether the lowest-low fertility in Korea is driven by a delay in having children or by a decline in total number of children that women want to have during their lifetime. I also identify factors at home and at work that correlate with how well intended and achieved fertility match up, drawing implications for other Asian countries with low fertility rates.

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Presented in Session 173: Fertility Attitudes and Intentions in Low-Fertility Societies