Saturday, June 16, 2007

Net reproduction rate in France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom, 1900–1995

Another characteristic of the Swedish pattern is that Sweden, along with France and the United Kingdom, was one of the few EU countries where the total fertility rate never fell below the level of 1.6 children per woman. A historian of the welfare state might be tempted to remind us that public officials in these three countries feared a population decline in the 1930s and that the creators of the social security systems (William Henry Beveridge in England, Pierre Laroque in France, and the Nobel Prize winner Alva Myrdal in Sweden) had comparable views — i. e., pronatalist —on population matters and implemented a family-oriented social policy at the time of World War II. This explicit demographic preoccupation progressively eroded or vanished in the following decades, but family support is still a non-negligible component of the welfare state. Few experts could imagine that the Italian TFR was going to go lower than the British rate in the 1950s and 1960s (See Table Below).

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