Fertility and Religious Belief: Old and New Relationships in Slovakia

Branislav Sprocha, Pavol Tisliar


Religiosity has long been considered one of the most important and most consistent determining factors in fertility schedules. The general view is that religious women tend to have larger families, are less likely to remain childless and that they are more likely to choose a reproductive strategy with an above-average number of children. The aim of this paper is to analyse the relationship between women’s religious beliefs and their fertility in practice based on census results for Slovakia. It aims to show not only how religiosity has influenced and continues to influence the level and character of fertility but also how the relationship has developed over time. It also aims to determine whether the example of Slovakia conforms to the well-known tendency for Catholic women to have higher fertility than Protestant women and, if so, whether the difference has widened or narrowed over time.


fertility, religiosity, reproductive behaviour, the Population Census 1930 and 2011, secularisation in Europe, Slovakia

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