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Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

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  1. Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

  2. Settlement Size and Fertility in the Nordic Countries Hill Kulu, Andres Vikat and Gunnar Andersson

  3. Background • A lot of research on spatial aspects of first demographic transition, e.g. the Princeton European Fertility Project • Only a few studies on spatial aspects of second demographic transition

  4. Objectives and data • To study fertility trends across settlements in the Nordic countries from the mid-1970s to the early 21st century, and to examine the causes of fertility variation across settlements • The data from the population registers of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden • Annual number of births by age of mother across municipalities for the period from 1975 to 2003; female population (annually) by age across municipalities • Individual childbearing records from Swedish population registers on all Swedish women born in 1945 and later

  5. Explanatory variable • Size of municipality: • 1) Capital city (more than 500,000 inhabitants) • 2) Other cities (100,000-500,000 inhabitants) • 3) Towns (50,000-100,000 inhabitants) • 4) Medium-sized towns (10,000-50,000 inhabitants) • 5) Small towns (5,000-10,000 inhabitants) • 6) Rural areas (less than 5,000 inhabitants) • Suburban municipalities defined as part of the urban region • Criteria: 20% of employed population commute to work in the • neighbouring city or town

  6. Municipalities of Denmark by size

  7. Municipalities of Finland by size

  8. Municipalities of Norway by size

  9. Municipalities of Sweden by size

  10. Total fertility (TFR) by settlement size Denmark Norway Finland Sweden

  11. TFR in capital city regions relative to that in small towns and rural areas

  12. Age-specific fertility by settlement size, 1975-77 Denmark Norway Finland Sweden

  13. Age-specific fertility by settlement size, 2001-03 Denmark Norway Finland Sweden

  14. First birth rates by settlement size in Sweden Ages 15-29 Ages 30-45

  15. Second and third birth rates by settlement size in Sweden Second birth Third birth

  16. Conclusions • A significant fertility variation across settlements in all four Nordic countries – the larger the settlement the lower fertility • The variation in fertility has decreased over time, but significant differences between settlement types have persisted • The timing of childbearing also varies across settlements – the larger the settlement the later the peak of fertility • The patterns are rather similar in all four countries • Sweden: All parity-specific fertility varies across settlements • Sweden: Socioeconomic characteristics account only for a small part of fertility variation across settlements

  17. Thank you!

  18. Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

  19. Female population (15-49) by settlement size Denmark Norway Finland Sweden

  20. Female population (15-49) by settlement size

  21. Birth rates by settlement size in Sweden