Separation of Generations in Families as a Factor for Reducing Birth Rate
Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Prof. of the Department of Family Sociology and Demography, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia firstname.lastname@example.org
The study was carried out with the financial support of the RFBR and BRFFI within the framework of the scientific project No. 20-511-00020 “Features of employment and socialization of persons of retirement age in the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation: a comparative sociological analysis”
Already in Soviet times, almost all married couples in Russia wanted to live separately from their husband/wife parents. However, as a rule, they did not postpone marriage due to the lack of their own housing. They separated from the older generation only a few years after the wedding, or even lived together until the death of their parents. After the collapse of the USSR, Russian society adopted social norms of family life extant in the United States and Northern/Western Europe. According to these norms, even temporary residence of spouses with their parents is unacceptable. However, many residents of Russia can neither buy nor rent even a small apartment. Therefore, they postpone marriage for a long time or do not create families at all. From 1989 to 2019, average age of grooms and brides at their first marriage, as well as the average age of mothers at the birth of their first child, increased by four years. The number of first marriages and first births has halved. However, until 2020 demographic policy in Russia was built on the belief that there was no need to stimulate births of first children. Families received substantial financial assistance from the state (“maternity capital”) only after the birth of their second child. Only in 2020 this capital began to be provided after the birth of the first child. According to the author, the state should help families even earlier – from the moment of marriage.
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