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Fertility and reproductive behavior (Sample survey accompanying Census 2021)

Published at: 30.01.2023 - 17:00

In 2021 also, the two-child family model is the reproductive ideal of women aged 15 - 49 and men aged 15 - 59 in our country (63.3%). In second place in the distribution is the opinion that the family should have three children (17.1%), followed by the family with one child (7.9%). In 2021, 9.4% of persons of reproductive age cannot estimate how many children a family should have in Bulgaria. The multi-child model of a family with four or more children is a priority for 2.0% of people.

To some extent, people's attitudes echo their ideal of family. Leading is the desire for two children in the family (61.9%), followed by the preference for three children (14.9%). The one-child family model is desired by 12% of individuals, and the multi-child family model, with four or more children, by 2.3%. 7.9% of people of reproductive age do not yet know how many children they would like to have, and 1.0% are categorical that they do not wish to have children.

People's reproductive ideals and intentions very often differ from the actual number of children in families. Analyzing the three indicators only for persons over the age of 45, for whom reproduction has conditionally ended, we can draw the following conclusions:

  • the share of persons without children is extremely large (17.8%) compared to those who have this ideal (0.1%) or prefer this family model (1.4%);
  • the share of persons who remain with one child (31.9%) is significantly higher compared to the ideal of a one-child family (6.9%) and those who wish to have one child (13.5%);
  • the ideal (64.7%) and desire (64.3%) for two children in the family are not actually realized. 44.4% of persons over 45 years of age have two children;
  • three children is an ideal for 17.1%, reproductive intentions for 13.9%, but it is actually realized by a much smaller share of persons at the end of their reproductive period, only 4.7%.