Marital Fertility and Religion: Recent Changes in Spain

Alicia Adsera, University of Illinois at Chicago

Since the onset of democracy in 1975, both total fertility and Mass attendance rates in Spain have dropped dramatically. The disappearance of the explicit support from the Franco regime for Mass attendance induced a better sorting between both groups practicing and non-practicing Catholics. I use the 1985 and 1999 Spanish Fertility Surveys to study whether the significance of religion in fertility behavior - both in family size and in the spacing of births- has changed. While in the 1985 SFS family size was similar among practicing and non-practicing Catholics, practicing Catholics portray significantly higher fertility during recent years. In the context of lower church participation, religiosity has acquired a more relevant meaning for demographic behavior. Among the youngest generation, non-practicing Catholics behave as those without affiliation. The small group of Protestants and Muslims has the highest fertility. Inter-faith unions are less fertile confirming previous results in the literature.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Union Formation and Dissolution, Fertility, Family and Well-being