A century of fertility transition in Slovakia
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Over the past more than 100 years several changes in the fertility process have occurred in Slovakia. Over a relatively short time these changes significantly transformed the character of reproduction. The main aim of the paper is to point out some of the main changes in fertility on its trajectory from a high to a low and then to a very low level during the 20th and the early 21st century. Using a long time series we analyse trends in the fertility quantum and tempo. We point to a significant decline in fertility from more than 5 children to below the threshold level of 2 children, both in a cross-sectional and a cohort approach. These changes were affected by a significant transformation in the structure of women by parity and parity progression ratios. We describe an inter-cohort decline in family size and the gradual dominance of a two- and three-child family model with a very low rate of childlessness and a small share of women with one child. We analyse in detail the postponement transition among the youngest cohorts born in the second half of the 1970s and the first half of the 1980s. In reference to the results of our analysis, we also attempt to forecast the possible future completed fertility levels and parity distributions. The most probably scenario is found to be a rapid increase in the proportion of one-child families with a slight rise in the level of childlessness and a decrease in the proportion of families with two or more children.