Spatial Diffusion of Fertility Decline in Northern Sweden, 1850–1950

Johan Junkka , Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR), Umeå University

This article studies how married couples' fertility behaviours were related to the behaviours of their married neighbours, in northern Sweden from 1850 to 1950. The relationship is studied at two geographical scales, as aggregate level autocorrelations between neighbourhoods and as individual level diffusion effects between neighbours. This is done using longitudinal individual-level demographic data with detailed spatial information. The results show that couples in adjacent neighbourhoods had similar fertility at the onset and during the fertility transition and not after or before. Similar patterns were found for the effects of long-term changes in neighbour fertility while short-term effects showed to opposite patterns. Short-term effects did only affect fertility before or after and not during the fertility transition. The results suggest that couples fertility was affected by social interaction mechanisms within networks of neighbours not only during but also before and after the European fertility transition.

See paper

 Presented in Session 190. Spatial Effects on Reproductive Health and Fertility