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Why Contemporary American Jews Want Small Families

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Publication Date: January 1981

Publisher(s): Brill Books

Author(s): Steven M. Cohen

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)
Population and demographics (Family planning)

Keywords: American Jews; Fertility; Demography

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


The chapter attempts to account for differences in desire fertility in desire family size by religion. It examines the routes to group, mean, desire family size. We find that Jews and Protestants resemble one another when comparing mean fertility levels. Jews and Catholics display a direct relationship between religiosity and fertility behavior whereas the Protestants fail to manifest such a relationship. Thus, low Jewish fertility arises from their high level of secularism.