Spatial variation in fertility across Europe: patterns and determinants
Population, Space and Place, 1–18 (2020)
This study investigates spatial variation in fertility in Europe. We analyse spatial variation in total fertility rates using small-scale geographical data from 21 European countries for 2010 and investigate the role economic, sociocultural, and spatial factors play in regional fertility levels. We compare the performance of conventional ordinary least squares regression and multilevel modelling with that of different spatial regression models and show that the spatial approach is superior for modelling regional fertility variation. The analysis shows that fertility levels in a region are strongly related to gross domestic product per capita and the share of divorced individuals in the region, and fertility levels in neighbouring regions, supporting that all three realms of fertility determinants—economic, sociocultural, and spatial—are relevant for understanding modern fertility variation.
Keywords: Europe, regression analysis, spatial analysis, total fertility rate