Comparative study of childbearing intentions of Polish men and women living in Poland and in the UK: progression to the second child (Withdrawn poster not presented at meeting)

Joanna Marczak, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

This paper is related to an ongoing PhD research, with the overall aim to explore and compare the rationales behind, and justifications for, intentions about whether to have a second child among Polish men and women living in the UK and Poland. Low levels of progression to the second and higher parities have contributed to a very low Total Fertility Rate in Poland (TFR 1.39 in 2009) contributing to a decline in the size of Polish population and an increase in the old age dependency ratio. Despite low TFR the childbearing ideals and intentions of people in Poland have been shown by various surveys to be at around 2 children per person and there exists a gap between intended and actual fertility. Although there is no research on fertility intentions of Polish migrants in the UK, their TFR at 1,6 is higher than in Poland. This project compares fertility intentions of Polish men and women brought up in the same national socioeconomic conditions, and now living in two diverse settings to explore whether and how different institutions, employment and economic conditions, cultural expectations and social norms in Poland and in the UK influence fertility intentions for the 2nd birth among Polish parents. In-depth interviews (n=42) have been carried out with men and women living in London and Krakow who already have one child. The results suggest that intended fertility for Polish parents in both countries remains at 2 largely due to negative stereotypes about only children and is influenced by the size of parental family. Housing, economic and employment situation, nonetheless, determine individuals’ beliefs about possibilities to realize intentions for the second offspring and faced with the lack of satisfactory conditions parents are willing to accept one child as a minimum family size.

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Presented in Poster Session 3