Abstract

We propose a multidimensional conceptualization of fertility demand and evaluate potential measures of each dimension, using data from a telephone survey of Wisconsin residents age 18-34. Most of the measures met tests for interval-level measurement; all produced high estimates of test-retest reliability. We found support for only two dimensions of demand, intensity and certainty; potential measures of centrality had relatively low associations with any of the latent dimensions. Demand certainty improved prediction of fertility expectations beyond a trichotomous (yes, no, don’t know) measure, but demand intensity did not. We found mixed evidence for the conceptualization of fertility demand as a single continuum on which desire to avoid pregnancy is the opposite of desire to have a child.

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