When Does Religion Influence Fertility?
Version of Record online: 8 JUN 2004
Population and Development Review
Volume 30, Issue 1, pages 25–56, March 2004
How to Cite
McQuillan, K. (2004), When Does Religion Influence Fertility?. Population and Development Review, 30: 25–56. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2004.00002.x
- Issue online: 8 JUN 2004
- Version of Record online: 8 JUN 2004
Religious affiliation as a determinant of demographic behavior is receiving renewed attention in demography. Interest in the role of cultural factors in affecting fertility and a specific concern with the role of Islam in many developing countries have helped re-invigorate research on the role of religion. This article reviews theoretical and empirical work on that relationship, with special attention to a number of cases in which religion has been identified as an important determinant of fertility patterns. The article concludes that religion plays an influential role when three conditions are satisfied: first, the religion articulates behavioral norms with a bearing on fertility behavior; second, the religion holds the means to communicate these values and promote compliance; and, third, religion forms a central component of the social identity of its followers.