Subjective and Objective Measures of Religiosity and Fertility Choices in Developed Countries

Alicia Adsera, Princeton University

I use the ISSP98 survey Religion II to study the relationship between objective and subjective measures of religiosity and fertility behavior. I extend some of my previous analysis for the case of Spain to a larger set of countries (13 European, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada). I show that the positive relation between mass attendance and fertility among Catholics holds in a sample that includes those who have ever been baptized regardless of the background of their spouses. Further I explore subjective measures of religiosity in the ISSP and its relation to the objective measures of mass attendance and prayer. Beyond Catholics, I extend the analysis to mainline and conservative Protestants a majority in some of the countries in the sample. I study whether the relation between religiosity and fertility holds stronger in countries with religious competition than in those with a state church.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 168: Religion, Contraception, and Fertility