Pandemic Babies? The Covid-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Fertility and Family Dynamics

The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting childbearing and family processes around the globe. First studies have documented changes in couples’ fertility plans and work division within the household, or predict fertility declines in high-income countries based on now-casting methods. Yet, the pandemic’s impact on fertility, partnering, and family dynamics is rapidly evolving and remains the subject of much speculation.

In December 2021, the conference brought together more than 100 international researchers to present and discuss recent research on the impact and consequences of the pandemic for family and fertility.

A Population and Development Review Supplement co-sponsored by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research and the Population Council will be based on this conference. 

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Chair: Anna Rotkirch (Population Research Institute, Väestöliitto) 

  • Anna Kurowska (University of Warsaw), Anna Matysiak (University of Warsaw), Beata Osiewalska (University of Warsaw) The impact of home-based work on fertility intentions during Covid-19 pandemic: a facilitator or an obstacle? 
  • Youngeun Nam (Purdue University), Christie Sennott (Purdue University) COVID-19 and Women’s Fertility Intentions in South Korea 
  • Alyce Raybould (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Monika Mynarska (Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw), Rebecca Sear (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) The future is unstable: Exploring the mechanisms for changing fertility intentions in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic Download presentation (PDF File, 1 MB)
  • Natalie Nitsche (MPIDR), D. Susie Lee (MPIDR) Emotion and Fertility in Times of Disaster: Conceptualizing Fertility Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond Download presentation (PDF File, 734 kB)
  • Kelsey Q. Wright (University of Wisconsin, Madison) “Safer-at-home": Complicated Clarity in Childbearing Decision-making during COVID-19 Quarantine 

Chair: Karel Neels (University of Antwerp)  

  • Tomáš Sobotka (Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna)), Aiva Jasilioniene (MPIDR), Kryštof Zeman (Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna)), László Németh (MPIDR), Maria Winkler-Dworak (Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna)), Ainhoa Alustiza Galarza (MPIDR), Dmitri Jdanov (MPIDR) Booms, busts and trend reversals? Shifts in births and fertility rates across the highly developed countries during the COVID-19 pandemic Download presentation (PDF File, 1 MB) 
  • Arnstein Aassve (Universita Commerciale Luigi Bocconi/ UCLB), Nicolò Cavalli (UCLB, University of Oxford), Letizia Mencarini (UCLB), Samuel Plach (UCLB), Seth Sanders (Cornell University) Early Assessment of the Relationship between the COVID-19 Pandemic and Births in High-Income Countries 
  • Giammarco Alderotti (University of Florence), Letizia Mencarini (Bocconi University), Daniele Vignoli (University of Florence) Recent birth trends in Europe: disentangling the effect of the pandemic and the demographic trap 
  • Kryštof Zeman (Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna)), Tomáš Sobotka (Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna)) Pandemic Babies in Czechia, Austria and Spain – First evidence on monthly birth trends by age of mother, birth order and selected socio-economic characteristics Download presentation (PDF File, 858 kB)

Chair: Laurent Toulemon (INED) 

  • Natalie Nitsche (MPIDR), Aiva Jasilioniene (MPIDR), Maxi Kniffka (MPIDR), Peng Li (MPIDR), Mikko Myrskylä (MPIDR), Jessica Nisén (MPIDR, University of Turku) and other co-authors Pandemic Babies? The Fertility Response to the First Covid-19 Wave across European Regions Download presentation (PDF File, 2 MB)
  • Andres F. Castro Torres (MPIDR), Nicolás Sacco (Pennsylvania State University), Ignacio Pardo (Universidad de la República), Beatriz Piedad Urdinola (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Enrique Acosta (MPIDR) Subnational Fertility and the Covid-19 Pandemic in Colombia and Brazil, 2010-2021 
  • Jacques B.O. Emina (University of Kinshasa) Impact of covid-19 on fertility in sub-Saharan Africa: What do we know and what could we expect? 
  • Caroline Moreau (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, INSERM/INED), Celia Karp (JHSPH), Funmilola OlaOlorun (University of Ibadan), Pierre Akilimali (Université de Kinshasa ), Georges Guiella (Université de Ouagadougou), Peter Gichangi (International Center for Reproductive Health, Kenya), Shannon N. Wood (JHSPH), Linnea A. Zimmerman (JHSPH), Philip A. Anglewicz (JHSPH) Changes in fertility and contraception in the context of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa: Insights from four population-based cohorts Download presentation (PDF File, 3 MB)


  • Anna Barbuscia (University of Lausanne and INED), Ariane Pailhé (INED), Anne Solaz (INED) Couple instability and uncertainty. Family transitions during the COVID-19 pandemic Download poster (PDF File, 2 MB)
  • Caroline Berghammer (Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna)), Bernhard Riederer (Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna)) New couples’ employment models during the Corona pandemic in Austria Download poster (PDF File, 1 MB)
  • Isabella Buber-Ennser (Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna)), Bernhard Riederer (Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna)), Ingrid Setz (Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna)) Changes of fertility plans in Austria due to the COVID‐19 pandemic Download poster (PDF File, 1 MB)
  • Cynthia Buckley (University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign) The Impact of COVID on Imbalanced Sex Ratios at Birth: Evidence from the Southern Caucasus Download poster (PDF File, 266 kB)
  • Lizbeth Burgos Ochoa (Erasmus MC Sophia Children’s Hospital, University Medical Centre Rotterdam), Márta K. Radó (Erasmus MC Sophia Children’s Hospital, University Medical Centre Rotterdam), Joaquim Vidiella Martin (Centre for Health Service Economics and Organisation/University of Oxford, Erasmus School of Economics and Tinbergen Institute/Erasmus University Rotterdam), Jasper V. Been (Erasmus MC Sophia Children’s Hospital, University Medical Centre Rotterdam) Socioeconomic differences in the association between national measures taken to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and the number of births in the Netherlands Download poster (PDF File, 582 kB)
  • Tom Emery (Erasmus University of Rotterdam), Judith C. Koops (NIDI and University of Groningen) The Impact of COVID-19 on Fertility behaviour and Intentions in the Republic of Moldova Download poster (PDF File, 1 MB) (presentation cancelled)
  • Claudia Geist (University of Utah), Rebecca Simmons (University of Utah), Alexandra Gero (University of Utah), Jessica Sanders (University of Utah) Pregnancy attitudes and intentions in turbulent times Download poster (PDF File, 504 kB)
  • Anushé Hassan (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Laure Spake (University of Otago), John H. Shaver (University of Otago), Mary K. Shenk (The Pennsylvania State University), Richard Sosis (University of Connecticut), Rebecca Sear (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) Nuclearization of mothers’ social support networks and childcare provision in the UK and the USA during the COVID-19 pandemic Download poster (PDF File, 3 MB)
  • Magdalena Klimek (Jagiellonian University), Anna Apanasewicz-Grzegorczyk (Polish Academy of Sciences), Aleksandra Ciochoń (Jagiellonian University), Dariusz Danel (Polish Academy of Sciences), Andrzej Galbarczyk (Jagiellonian University), Urszula M. Marcinkowska (Jagiellonian University), Magdalena Mijas (Jagiellonian University), Anna Ziomkiewicz (Jagiellonian University) Pandemic mindfulness: is there a difference in pregnancy and birth outcomes between women practicing relaxation techniques or not? Download poster (PDF File, 7 MB)
  • Everton C. Lima (University of Campinas), Camila F. Soares (University of Campinas), José H. C. Monteiro da Silva (University of Campinas) Baby Bust: Births fall in Brazilian major cities during the Covid-19 pandemic Download poster (PDF File, 1 MB)
  • Wendy Manning (Bowling Green University), Karen Guzzo (Bowling Green University), Claire Kamp Dush (University of Minnesota) Fertility Intentions During the Pandemic Download poster (PDF File, 377 kB)
  • Jessica Nisén (MPIDR, University of Turku), Marika Jalovaara (University of Turku), Anna Rotkirch (Population Research Institute, Väestöliitto), Mika Gissler (Mika Gissler) Fertility recovery despite the Covid-19 pandemic: trends by age, parity and region in Finland 2015–2021 Download poster (PDF File, 405 kB)
  • Brienna Perelli-Harris (University of Southampton), Theodore Gerber (University of Wisconsin), Yuliya Hilevych (University of Groningen) Uncertainty across the “Contact Line”: perceptions of fertility decline in the conflict areas of Eastern Ukraine during the Covid-19 Pandemic Download poster (PDF File, 546 kB)
  • Clémentine Rossier (University of Geneva), Gia Potarca (University of Geneva) Marital and fertility status and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic: An analysis of Swiss Household Panel data Download poster (PDF File, 838 kB)
  • Poh Lin Tan (Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore), Joan Ryan (University of Pennsylvania), Jeremy W. Lim-Soh (Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore) Epidemics and Fertility Change: Responses to Zika and COVID-19 in Singapore Download poster (PDF File, 257 kB)

Chair: Michaela Kreyenfeld (Hertie School of Governance) 

  • Gerda Neyer (Stockholm University), Gunnar Andersson (Stockholm University), Johan Dahlberg (Stockholm University), Sofi Ohlsson-Wijk (Stockholm University), Linus Andersson (Stockholm University), Sunnee Billingsley (Stockholm University) Pandemic Babies in Sweden? the End of Fertility Decline or Changing Childbearing Considerations? Download presentation (PDF File, 1 MB)
  • Chiara Ludovica Comolli (Stockholm University) Uncertainty and fertility intentions: A comparison between the Great Recession and the Covid-19 crisis Download presentation (PDF File, 814 kB)
  • Zuzanna Brzozowska (Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna)), Natalie Nitsche (MPIDR), Joshua Wilde (MPIDR) How unemployment and perceived employment uncertainty affect fertility in stable and crisis times? Evidence from 16 German states in years 2004-2021 Download presentation (PDF File, 1 MB)
  • Lara Patrício Tavares (Centro de Administração e Políticas Públicas (CAPP), ISCSP-ULisboa), Alda Botelho Azevedo (Centro de Administração e Políticas Públicas (CAPP), ISCSP-ULisboa/ICS-ULisboa) When it is harder to take decisions: fertility under uncertainty Download presentation (PDF File, 395 kB)
  • Trude Lappegård (University of Oslo), Axel Peter Kristensen (University of Oslo), Lars Dommermuth (Statistics Norway), Tom Kornstad (Statistics Norway) Baby-boom or baby-bust? Fertility Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Chair: Lawrence Wu (New York University) 

  • Fernando Gil-Alonso (University of Barcelona), Cristina López-Villanueva (University of Barcelona) Mortality growth and fertility reduction: some spatial evidence for Spain within the Covid-19 pandemic 
  • William G. Axinn (University of Michigan), Brady T. West (University of Michigan), Heather Schroeder (University of Michigan), Emma Banchoff (University of Michigan) Pandemic Babies: The Social Organization of Daily Life, Sudden Disruptions to Social Activities, and National Evidence of Disruption of Trends in U.S. Fertility Behavior Download presentation (PDF File, 4 MB)
  • Hiroaki Matsuura (Shoin University) Did the COVID-19 Pandemic and Associated Mobility Restrictions Affect Fertility? Preliminary Evidence from the Reported Number of Pregnancies in Japan 
  • Sandra Brée (CNRS), Didier Breton (Université de Strasbourg and INED), Thomas Ducharne (INSEE), Sophie Vuillaume (INSEE) The impact of the Covid pandemic on natality and fertility in France 
  • Clémentine Rossier (University of Geneva), Moussa Bougma (University Joseph Ky-Zerbo, Ouagadougou) The Covid-19 pandemic: contrasted fertility responses and fertility regimes in different socioeconomic groups in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (presentation cancelled)

Chair: Anna Matysiak (University of Warsaw) 

  • Nandita Bhan (Center on Gender Equity and Health, UC San Diego), Nicole Johns (Center on Gender Equity and Health, UC San Diego), Sangeeta Chatterji (Center on Gender Equity and Health, UC San Diego), Edwin Elizabeth Thomas (Center on Gender Equity and Health, UC San Diego), Namratha Rao (Center on Gender Equity and Health, UC San Diego), Mohan Ghule (Center on Gender Equity and Health, UC San Diego), Rebecka Lundgren (Center on Gender Equity and Health, UC San Diego), Anita Raj (Center on Gender Equity and Health, UC San Diego) Fertility Norms as a Determinant of Contraceptive Use in a COVID-19 hotspot in rural Maharashtra, India 
  • Sarah Myers, UCL Anthropology, University College London and BirthRites, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology), Emily H Emmott (UCL Anthropology, University College London) The presence and role of kin in maternal social networks in the UK – evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Nicole Hiekel (University of Cologne), Mine Kühn (MPIDR) Mental health before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: The role of partnership and parenthood status in growing disparities between types of families 


  • Emma Zang (Yale University), Poh Lin Tan (Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore), Thomas Lyttelton (Yale University), Anna Guo (Yale University) Gendered Time Use Patterns during the COVID-19 Lockdown: Evidence from Longitudinal Data in Singapore 
  • Isabella Buber‐Ennser (Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna)), Caroline Berghammer (Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna)), Maria Winkler‐Dworak (Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna)) Is the Covid19 pandemic a driver of relationship dissolution? A comparative study of Austria and France Download presentation (PDF File, 978 kB)
  • Jiao Yu (Case Western Reserve University), Kathryn Grace (University of Minnesota), Elizabeth Heger Boyle (University of Minnesota), Matt Gunther (University of Minnesota), Devon Kristiansen (University of Minnesota) Examining how trust in government and in others affects modern contraceptive use in Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic 

Chair: Mikko Myrskylä (MPIDR) 

  • Ann Berrington (University of Southampton), Joanne Ellison (University of Southampton), Bernice Kuang (University of Southampton), Sindhu Vasireddy (University of St. Andrews), Hill Kulu (University of St. Andrews) Scenario-based Fertility Projections Incorporating Impacts of COVID-19 Download presentation (PDF File, 1 MB) 
  • Patrizio Vanella (HZI/University of Rostock), Philipp Deschermeier (IWU), Arthur L. Greil (Alfred University) Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on International Fertility – A Stochastic Principal Component Approach Download presentation (PDF File, 636 kB) 
  • Joshua Wilde (MPIDR / IZA Institute of Labor Economics), Wei Chen (MPIDR / Fordham University), Sophie Lohmann (MPIDR) COVID-19 and the Future of US Fertility: What Can We Learn from Google? 

Organizing Committee

  • Natalie Nitsche  
  • Mikko Myrskylä 
  • Joshua Wilde
  • Aiva Jasilioniene
  • Susie Lee
  • Jessica Nisen 
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.