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20세기 중반 이후 출산력변천은 줄곧 인구학의 핵심 관심사가 되어 왔다. 특히 1980년대 중반 이후 인구 재생산 수준에 도달한 거의 모든 국가에서 제2차 출산력변천이 발생하고, 이로 인해 이들 국가가 급속한 고령화와 인구의 자연감소에 직면하게 되면서 출산력변천에 대한 논의는 새로운 국면을 맞게 된다. 이 글은 이러한 배경을 전제로 세계적인 맥락에서 출산력변천의 다양한 양상을 개괄하고, 이를 기초로 기존 이론과 논의의 한계와 문제점을 살피고, 출산력변천에 대한 새로운 이해의 가능성을 모색하고 있다.


Fertility transition has been a major subject of world demography since the mid twentieth century. New discussions have been introduced since the mid 1980s alarmed by the sudden start of the second fertility transition, or the continuous decline of fertility in almost every developed or developing country which achieved the fertility of population replacement or below at that time. In this context, this article reviews diverse features of fertility transition and examines the limitations of various perspectives adopted in explaining the process of transition in the hope that would lead to a new understanding.


Fertility transition has been a major subject of world demography since the mid twentieth century. New discussions have been introduced since the mid 1980s alarmed by the sudden start of the second fertility transition, or the continuous decline of fertility in almost every developed or developing country which achieved the fertility of population replacement or below at that time. In this context, this article reviews diverse features of fertility transition and examines the limitations of various perspectives adopted in explaining the process of transition in the hope that would lead to a new understanding.