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Natalism (also called pronatalism or the pro-birth position) is a belief that promotes the reproduction of human life.[1] The term, as it relates to the belief itself, comes from the French word for 'birthrate', natalité.[citation needed][2]

Natalism promotes child-bearing and parenthood as desirable for social reasons and to ensure the continuance of humanity. Natalism in public policy typically seeks to create financial and social incentives for populations to reproduce, such as providing tax incentives that reward having and supporting children.[citation needed] Those who adhere to more strict interpretations of natalism may seek to limit access to abortion and contraception, as well. The opposite of natalism is antinatalism.



Many religions encourage procreation and religiousness in members is tied to higher fertility rates.[3] Judaism,[4] Islam, and major branches of Christianity, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[5] and the Catholic Church[6][7][8] encourage procreation. In 1979 one research paper indicated that Amish people had an average of 6.8 children per family.[9] A movement among conservative Protestants, known as the Quiverfull movement, advocates for large families and views children as blessings from God.[10][11][12]

Other populations[edit]

The !Kung San people in southern Africa do not practice birth control.[citation needed]

Intention to have children[edit]

An intention to have children is a substantial fertility factor in actually ending up doing so, but childless individuals who intend to have children immediately or within two or three years are generally more likely to succeed than those who intend to have children in the long term.[13] There are many determinants of the intention to have children, including:

  • The mother's preference of family size, which influences that of the children through early adulthood.[14] Likewise, the extended family influences fertility intentions, with increased number of nephews and nieces increasing the preferred number of children.[13]
  • Social pressure from kin and friends to have another child.[13]
  • Social support. However, a study from West Germany came to the result that both men receiving no support at all and men receiving support from many different people have a lower probability of intending to have another child, with the latter probably related to coordination problems.[13]
  • Happiness, with happier people tending to want more children.[13]
  • Secure housing situation.[15]

Natalistic politics[edit]

2017 election poster by Alternative for Germany. "New Germans? – We make them by ourselves." It contrasts immigration and natalism.
Parking place for families with children, residential area. Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland

Some countries with population decline offer incentives to the people to have large families as a means of national efforts to reverse declining populations. Incentives may include a one-time baby bonus, or ongoing child benefit payments or tax reductions. Some impose penalties or taxes on those with fewer children. Some nations, such as Japan, Singapore,[16] South Korea,[17] and Taiwan, have implemented, or tried to implement, interventionist natalist policies, creating incentives for larger families among native stock. Immigrants are generally not part of natalist policies.

Paid maternity and paternity leave policies can also be used as an incentive. For example, Sweden has generous parental leave wherein parents are entitled to share 16 months' paid leave per child, the cost divided between both employer and state.

Books advocating natalist policies include What to Expect When No One's Expecting by Jonathan V. Last.[18]


Vladimir Putin's government also uses[when?] natalist policies by offering rewards and promoting larger families.[19]


The Hungarian government of Viktor Orbán in 2019 announced pecuniary incentives (including eliminating taxes for mothers with more than three children, and reducing credit payments and easier access to loans), and expanding day care and kindergarten access.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Compare: McKeown, John (2014). "1: Natalism: A Popular Use of the Bible". God's Babies: Natalism and Bible Interpretation in Modern America. Cambridge: Open Books. p. 2. ISBN 9781783740529. Retrieved 2018-12-08. Natalism is an ideology that advocates a high birth rate within a community.[...] The central message is that parents should have additional children.
  2. ^ "Definition of NATALISM".
  3. ^ "Do Muslims Have More Children Than Other Women in Western Europe? – Population Reference Bureau". Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  4. ^ "Mishnah Yevamot 6;6". Sefaria. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  5. ^ First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles (September 23, 1995), "Gospel Topics – The Family: A Proclamation to the World",, LDS Church, retrieved 2013-12-11. See also: The Family: A Proclamation to the World
  6. ^ Pope Paul VI (1968-07-25). "Humanae Vitae: Encyclical on the Regulation of Birth". Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Retrieved 2008-11-12.
  7. ^ Pope Pius XI (1930-12-31). "Casti Connubii: Encyclical on Christian Marriage". Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Retrieved 2008-11-12.
  8. ^ Pope John Paul II (1981-11-22). "Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio: On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World". Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Retrieved 2008-11-12.
  9. ^ Ericksen, Julia A; Ericksen, Eugene P; Hostetler, John A; Huntington, Gertrude E (July 1979). "Fertility Patterns and Trends among the Old Order Amish". Population Studies. 33 (2): 255–76. doi:10.2307/2173531. ISSN 0032-4728. JSTOR 2173531. OCLC 39648293. PMID 11630609.
  10. ^ Hess, Rick and Jan (1990). A Full Quiver: Family Planning and the Lordship of Christ. Brentwood, TN: Hyatt Publishers. ISBN 0-943497-83-3.
  11. ^ Dennis Rainey (2002). "The Value of Children (11 July 2002 FamilyLife Today Radio Broadcast)". FamilyLife Today. Archived from the original (Transcript of radio broadcast) on October 1, 2005. Retrieved 2006-09-30.
  12. ^ Campbell, Nancy (2003). Be Fruitful and Multiply: What the Bible Says about Having Children. San Antonio: Vision Forum. ISBN 0-9724173-5-4.
  13. ^ a b c d e Nicoletta Balbo; Francesco C. Billari; Melinda Mills (2013). "Fertility in Advanced Societies: A Review of Research". European Journal of Population. 29 (1): 1–38. doi:10.1007/s10680-012-9277-y. PMC 3576563. PMID 23440941.
  14. ^ Axinn, William G.; Clarkberg, Marin E.; Thornton, Arland (1994). "Family Influences on Family Size Preferences". Demography. 31 (1): 65–79. doi:10.2307/2061908. ISSN 0070-3370. JSTOR 2061908. PMID 8005343.
  15. ^ Vignoli, Daniele and Rinesi, Francesca and Mussino, Eleonora (2013). "A home to plan the first child? Fertility intentions and housing conditions in Italy" (PDF). Population, Space and Place. 19: 60–71. doi:10.1002/psp.1716.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  16. ^ "Pro-natalism: Breaking the baby strike". The Economist. 25 July 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  17. ^ Onishi, Norimitsu (21 August 2005). "South Korea, in Turnabout, Now Calls for More Babies". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  18. ^ Cohen, Joel E. (April 24, 2014). "The Case for More Babies". The New York Review of Books.
  19. ^ "Putin's Family Values". Archived from the original on May 12, 2017.
  20. ^ Kingsley, Patrick (2019-02-11). "Orban Encourages Mothers in Hungary to Have 4 or More Babies". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved 2019-03-13.