SES and Fertility During the Fertility Transition: Evidence From Micro-Level Population Data in a Global and Historical Perspective

Martin Dribe , Lund University
Francesco Scalone, University of Bologna

This paper looks at socioeconomic differentials in fertility in a global and historical perspective. We rely on individual level data from contemporary and historical census data (IPUMS), using a common social class scheme, and data on education. We use data from 306 census samples from 85 countries covering both the historical transition in the West and the ongoing transition globally. In the analysis, we chart fertility differentials by class and education across populations, looking at the extent of the geographic and temporal variations. The SES differentials are then related to different stages of the fertility transition. Preliminary findings show clear differences in fertility social class and education, quite independently of each other. We also find substantial heterogeneities by region, time period, and fertility regime. When looking at phases of the fertility transition, the class gradient was strongest and most consistent in mid transition, and least visible in post-transition contexts.

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 Presented in Session 1. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, & Reproductive Health 1