MPIDR Working Paper

Settlement size and fertility in the Nordic countries

Kulu, H., Vikat, A., Andersson, G.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2006-024, 36 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (August 2006)
Open Access


There is a growing body of literature that looks at the causes of below-replacement fertility in developed countries. While the variation in childbearing patterns across countries and between socio-economic groups within a country has been studied in detail, little is known about the differences in fertility patterns across settlements within a country. A few recent studies suggest that there are persistent differentials between high- and low-fertility settlements in contemporary Europe. This study examines fertility variation across settlements in four Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. We base our study on aggregate and individual-level register data. We first examine annual total and parity-specific fertility across settlement type from the mid-1970s to the early twenty-first century. We proceed to study the relative contribution of the socio-economic characteristics of the local populations and the characteristics of the settlements to this variation, using hazard regression models.
Keywords: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, event history analysis, fertility, urbanization
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.