Census-linked study on fertility differentials in Lithuania: does ethnicity matter?

Aiva Jasilioniene, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Domantas Jasilionis, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Vlada Stankuniene, Institute for Social Research (ISR), Vilnius
Ausra Maslauskaite, Institute for Social Research (ISR), Vilnius
Vladimir M. Shkolnikov, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research and New Economic School, Russia

Fertility transformations observed in Lithuania since the early 1990s and their determinants have been rather thoroughly investigated. There are fairly numerous both national and international studies devoted to this topic that are based on survey data. However, none of these studies looks into the effect of ethnicity on fertility. It is to a large extent caused by limitations of survey data. Lithuania is relatively homogeneous by its ethnic composition: Lithuanians constitute more than 80 percent of the total population. Given the small shares of other ethnicities, detailed analysis of fertility behaviour by ethnic group is not really possible. This study uses a unique census-linked dataset, based on all records from the 2001 census and all birth records for the period between April 6, 2001 and December 31, 2002. The preliminary findings suggest that ethnicity is an important gradient of fertility in Lithuania. Lithuanians have higher fertility than other ethnic groups, especially Russians. The lowest total fertility rate found in the Russian ethnic group is mainly explained by lower rates of second births. Interestingly, the highest mean age at second birth is also found in the Russian subpopulation. Fertility of Lithuanians remains significantly higher even after controlling for compositional differences by education, urban-rural residence, marital status, and economic activity status.

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Presented in Poster Session 1

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