According to an international survey by the Nippon Foundation of female attitudes, East Asia women showed a tendency to view giving birth out of wedlock negatively whereas most Northern European women were accepting of having children outside marriage.
The Nippon Foundation’s survey compared the attitudes of 500 women between the age of 18 to 69, concerning declining birth rates each in China, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, and the United States. The survey asked the women several questions that highlighted regional differences in views toward having children and marriage.
The study showed that the women had very different personal views on having children outside of marriage. In Japan, 67 percent of the surveyed women viewed giving birth out of wedlock as negative and said they considered marriage a prerequisite to having children. A majority of respondents in China and South Korea had similar views whereas more than 80 percent of women in Denmark, Sweden, France, and Italy, did not consider marital status a deciding factor in choosing to have children.
The survey also found that women in Japan, South Korea, and Italy found it difficult to give birth and raise children in their country. 80 percent of the women in South Korea saw their country as unfavorable to having and raising children in and over 70% of Italians and Japanese held the same opinion of their countries. Views in China, which recently ended its one-child policy, also tended to be negative.
By comparison, around 80% of respondents in the Nordic region of Denmark and Sweden saw their countries as good places to have and raise children. The two countries are also known to have secure social safety nets.