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High suburban fertility: evidence from four Northern European countries

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  • Hill Kulu

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Paul J. Boyle

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Gunnar Andersson

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

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    Abstract

    This study examines fertility variation across different residential contexts in four Northern European countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. We move beyond the conventional urban-rural focus of most previous studies of within-nation variations in fertility by distinguishing between urban centres and suburbs of cities and towns. We base our study on aggregate and individual-level register data and our analysis shows that fertility levels are significantly higher in suburbs than in urban centres; this pattern has persisted over the past quarter of a century for all four countries. A parity-specific analysis of Swedish register data reveals that total fertility varies between central cities and suburbs due to the relatively high first- and second-birth propensities in the suburbs. Further analysis shows that fertility variation between the central cities and suburbs persists after controlling for women’s socioeconomic characteristics. We discuss the role of various factors in accounting for high suburban fertility including omitted individual characteristics, contextual factors and selective residential moves of couples planning to have a child.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2008-021.

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    Length: 24 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2008-021

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    Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    Keywords: Europe; fertility; suburban areas;

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    1. Gunnar Andersson & Kirk Scott, 2007. "Childbearing dynamics of couples in a universalistic welfare state," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 17(30), pages 897-938, December.
    2. Hill Kulu & Andres Vikat, 2007. "Fertility differences by housing type: an effect of housing conditions or of selective moves?," MPIDR Working Papers, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany WP-2007-014, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    3. Øystein Kravdal, 2001. "The High Fertility of College Educated Women in Norway," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 5(6), pages 187-216, December.
    4. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
    5. Øystein Kravdal, 2002. "Is the Previously Reported Increase in Second- and Higher-order Birth Rates in Norway and Sweden from the mid-1970s Real or a Result of Inadequate Estimation Methods?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(9), pages 241-262, March.
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