Continuity and Change

The role of religion in the Dutch fertility transition: starting, spacing, and stopping in the heart of the Netherlands, 1845–1945

a1 Department of Sociology, Catholic University of Leuven.
a2 International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam.

Article author query
bavel jv   [Google Scholar] 
kok j   [Google Scholar] 


This contribution investigates how religion retarded the Dutch fertility transition by looking at how denominations were associated with the timing of first births (starting), the length of birth intervals (spacing), and the timing of last births (stopping). First, we apply a simple descriptive model of starting, spacing, and stopping to life-course data from the province of Utrecht. Then, we apply multivariate regression to assess the independent effects of religious denominations, net of socio-economic status, on stopping behaviour. The results indicate that liberal Protestants were more prone to adopt stopping behaviour than orthodox Protestants and Catholics.