MPIDR Working Paper
Pushing the limit: long-term trends in late fertility in Sweden
Billari, F. C., Kohler, H.-P., Andersson, G., Lundström, H.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2007-004, 28 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (January 2007)
This working paper has been published. See the link above for further information.
In this paper we discuss trends in the limits to late childbearing, their determinants and potential implications from an empirical long-term perspective. Although the high levels observed in non-contracepting populations have not been reached, fertility in Europe at ages 40+ and 45+ has increased substantially in recent years. This trend received considerable attention, especially in combination with the emergence of new reproductive technologies and often low levels of general fertility. Nevertheless, physiological studies agree on the fact that age limits to childbearing, at least for women, have not shifted to later ages. Our empirical analyses of high-quality long-term data from Sweden document an increase in the absolute and relative number of births at ages 40+ and 45+, together with an increase in first birth occurrence-exposure rates at ages close to 40. While extreme age at birth seems to move upwards, evidence for a rectangularization of the transition to motherhood is still weak.
Keywords: Sweden, fertility