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Fertility trends and differentials in the Nordic countries - Footprints of welfare policies and challenges on the road ahead


  • Marit Rønsen
  • Kari Skrede


This paper summarises the core findings of a recently finished network project on fertility dynamics and family policies in the Nordic countries. The network explored the findings of previous and ongoing separate research activities from a comparative perspective and carried out specially designed, comparative analyses for this project. Based on the network results and other existing research we review the collected evidence of the potential impacts of Nordic welfare policies on fertility. With cohort fertility levels around replacement level, the Nordic countries apparently have less to worry about concerning their future population development than most other European countries. Yet, some elements in the present trends suggest that there are still challenges ahead. In particular, we argue that the current fertility pattern may not be compatible with gender equality, a main goal for our societies.

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  • Marit Rønsen & Kari Skrede, 2008. "Fertility trends and differentials in the Nordic countries - Footprints of welfare policies and challenges on the road ahead," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 6(1), pages 103-123.
  • Handle: RePEc:vid:yearbk:v:6:y:2008:i:1:p:103-123

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tomas Frejka & Gerard Calot, 2001. "Cohort Reproductive Patterns in the Nordic Countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 5(5), pages 125-186, November.
    2. Ronald Rindfuss & David Guilkey & S. Morgan & Øystein Kravdal & Karen Guzzo, 2007. "Child care availability and first-birth timing in Norway," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(2), pages 345-372, May.
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