Maria Rita Testa

Research Group: Fertility and Family

Phone: +43 1 51581 - 7710

E-Mail: maria.rita.testa(at)


Maria Rita Testa is senior researcher at the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. She has been an FWF scholar (Elise-Richter-Stelle) since 2014 and has held the title "Privatdozentin" since December 2015.
Her research interests include family demography, reproductive decisionmaking, fertility, multilevel models, panel data analysis, climate change and inter-marriage. Maria Rita studies how fertility intentions affect reproductive behaviour and vice versa, and the way socio-demographic factors including age, gender, education and employment are related to the intended and unintended birth transitions in the individuals’ life course. Explaining why these relationships vary among societies and change over time is another aim of her research. More generally, Maria Rita's research interests concern: fertility, family demography, reproductive decisionmaking, gender, social sustainability, life course analysis and multilevel models. Maria Rita is keen to supervise MSc/MPhil and PhD students on these and related social demographic topics.

Maria Rita Testa earned her degree in Political Science from "Sapienza" University of Rome and received her PhD in Demography from University of Florence. She has held positions at "Sapienza" University of Rome (1996–1997; lectureship), University of Florence (1997–1999; doctoral student), and University of Milan Bicocca (2000–2001; assistant professor). Her research findings have been published, inter alia, in: Population and Development Review, European Journal of Population, Demographic Research, Population, Population Research and Policy Review, and Population & Environment.

Areas of Expertise

  • Family Demography
  • Fertility
  • Reproductive Decision-making
  • Gender
  • Social Sustainability
  • Life Course Analysis
  • Multilevel Models


Research Areas


Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

On the positive correlation between education and fertility intentions in Europe: Individual- and country-level evidence
Author(s): Testa MR
Reference: Advances in Life Course Research 21: 28-42Year: 2014

The effect of couple disagreement about child-timing intentions: a parity-specific approach
Author(s): Testa MR, Cavalli L, Rosina A
Reference: Population and Development Review 40(1):31-53. WU Best Paper Award 2015
Year: 2014

The emergence of sub-replacement family size ideals in Europe
Author(s): Goldstein JR, Lutz W, Testa MR
Reference: Population Research and Policy Review. 22 (5-6): 479-496
Year: 2003