Settlement size and fertility in the Nordic countries
Population Studies, 61:3, 265–285 (2007)
While the variation in childbearing patterns across countries and between socio-economic groups within a country has been studied in detail, less is known about the differences in fertility patterns across settlements
within a country. Using aggregate and individual-level register data, we examine fertility variation across settlements in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. We observe a significant variation in fertility level
by settlement size in all four of these Nordic countries - the larger the settlement, the lower the fertility.
Second, the variation in fertility level has decreased over time, but significant differences in fertility between settlements of different size persist. Third, the timing of childbearing also varies across settlements -the larger the settlement, the later the peak of fertility. Fourth, our analysis of parity-specific fertility in Sweden shows that the major socio-economic characteristics of women account for only a small portion of fertility variation across settlements.
Keywords: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, event history analysis, fertility, urbanization