Falling Fertility and Rising Social Inequalities
Why is fertility falling and why is fertility inequalities rising? The aim is to unpack the underlying mechanisms behind the falling fertility trend and the rising fertility inequalities in the younger generations.
About the project
For almost a decade, Norway and the other Nordic countries have experienced falling fertility. At the same time, new social inequalities in fertility have emerged in the Nordic countries. First, we ask why fertility is falling and why the young generation is more reluctant to have children than previous generations. We will investigate how labor market changes and economic (in-)security are associated with fertility. We aim to assess how perceived economic uncertainty and concerns about the future influence peoples decisions about fertility and which factors in the labor market are a threat to fertility and which are becoming a prerequisite for high fertility.
Second, we ask why social inequalities in fertility is rising. The social gradient of female fertility has rapidly changed in the recent years to a pattern that increasingly resemble male patterns of fertility inequality, including higher level of childlessness among the low educated. Thus, we ask whether the general achievements in gender equality and the outline of family policies are custom-made for well-educated middle-class families, practicing a dual breadwinner-model, while other socio-economic groups may struggle to realize their fertility plans. We aim to assess how unequal fertility patterns emerge in the interplay between new gender roles and social groups, and thus challenge existing theories on gender and social inequality in order to develop new theoretical frameworks.
The primary objective of the proposed project is to unpack the underlying mechanisms behind the falling fertility trend and the rising fertility inequalities in the younger generations.
The secondary objectives are to
- Identify the possible impact of labor market changes for the decline in fertility
- Study how economic security is associated with fertility
- Detect the origins and consequences of why social inequalities in fertility is increasing
- Provide in-depth and comparative analyses
- Expand theoretical perspectives in fertility research
Statistics Norway is a partner in the project.
1 July 2020 - 31 December 2024
Lappegård, Trude; Kristensen, Axel Peter; Dommermuth, Lars; Minello, Alessandra & Vignoli, Daniele (2022). The impact of narratives of the future on fertility intentions in Norway. Journal of Marriage and Family. ISSN 0022-2445. 84(2), p. 476–493. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12822. Full text in Research Archive Show summary
Comolli, Chiara Ludovica; Neyer, Gerda; Andersson, Gunnar; Dommermuth, Lars; Fallesen, Peter & Jalovaara, Marika [Show all 9 contributors for this article] (2020). Beyond the Economic Gaze: Childbearing During and After Recessions in the Nordic Countries. European Journal of Population. ISSN 0168-6577. doi: 10.1007/s10680-020-09570-0. Full text in Research Archive Show summary
Lappegård, Trude & Kornstad, Tom (2020). Social norms about father involvement and women's fertility. Social Forces. ISSN 0037-7732. 99(1), p. 398–423. doi: 10.1093/sf/soz124.
Nisén, Jessica; Klüsener, Sebastian; Dahlberg, Johan; Dommermuth, Lars; Jasilioniene, Aiva & Kreyenfeld, Michaela [Show all 17 contributors for this article] (2020). Educational differences in cohort fertility across sub-national regions in Europe. European Journal of Population. ISSN 0168-6577. p. 1–33. doi: 10.1007/s10680-020-09562-0. Full text in Research Archive Show summary
Lappegård, Trude; Kornstad, Tom; Dommermuth, Lars & Kristensen, Axel Peter (2022). Hvorfor gikk fødselstallene opp under covid-19-pandemien? Aftenposten (morgenutg. : trykt utg.). ISSN 0804-3116. 08.05.2022. Show summary
Lappegård, Trude; Kornstad, Tom; Dommermuth, Lars & Kristensen, Axel Peter (2022). Understanding the positive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s fertility in Norway. SSB - Discussion papers. ISSN 0809-733X. 2022(978). Show summary
Dommermuth, Lars & Lappegård, Trude (2021). The Generations and Gender Survey 2020 in Norway. Show summary
Lappegård, Trude; Dommermuth, Lars & Kristensen, Axel Peter (2021). Føde flest mulig? Tida for høye fødselstall er over. Målet bør ikke være at det fødes flest mulig barn, men at alle kan få de barna de ønsker seg. Dagsavisen. ISSN 1503-2892. 23.03.2021.
Dommermuth, Lars & Lappegård, Trude (2021). The Norwegian Generations and Gender Survey, Round 2 - Wave 1 (2020). Documentation of the data collection process. Technical working paper. Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute.. Show summary