The Popular Debate about Low Fertility: An Analysis of the German Press, 1993–2001

  • Laura Stark
  • Hans-Peter Kohler


Despite increasing research on the causes, consequences, and measurement of low fertility, questions about the nature and the extent of popular concerns over low fertility have yielded more speculation than examination. We address this gap in the literature through an analysis of 328 German newspaper and news magazine articles mentioning low fertility from 1993 to 2001. Our analysis reveals a paradox: while fertility rates have remained well below replacement levels and governmental discussions of low fertility have increased, discussion of low fertility as a concern in and of itself has been small and unchanging over time. We find this to be true because the problem of low fertility is rarely invoked as a concern in its own right, but is most often used as a tool in the popular debate to discuss other problems – political, economic, and cultural.


Fertility Germany media newspaper 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Princeton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  2. 2.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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