* Reproduction plans of young people

Causes of fertility rate decline present one of the most burning questions of our time. In principle there are two main theories accounting for this change. The first one regards the cause mainly in economical factors, that is, in the fact that young people are not provided for economically and they can’t afford to establish a family (or to have other children), even if they want to. The other theory claims that younger generations have a completely different value system as opposed to their parents.

They postpone having a child because they pursue different activities during their youth (education, work carrier, own interests etc.). They plan to establish a family in older age, as they do in many Western European countries.

It can be assumed that behaviour of young generation is affected by both factors simultaneously. So far, however, not many researches dealing with this problem have been carried out. In a research directed at family and childlessness carried out in April by the Centre for Public Opinion Research (CVVM) we have therefore decided to ask direct questions about why people do not want a child (or another child) or why they postpone its birth. Certain drawback is a fact that the sample group representative for the whole population of the Czech Republic contained relatively low number of respondents, who were related to these problems. Therefore we couldn’t compare the research results according to sex, education and other characteristics, even though such a confrontation would be certainly interesting.

In our analysis we concentrate on the age group up to 34 years. Almost all of the older respondents have already accomplished their reproduction plans. In case of those who are still postponing having a child, there is a high probability that they will not manage to have it during their life (especially women).