Pandemic Babies? The Fertility Response to the First Covid-19 Wave Across European Regions

Natalie Nitsche , Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Aiva Jasilioniene, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Jessica Nisen, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Peng Li, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Maxi Kniffka, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Gunnar Andersson , Stockholm University
Christos Bagavos, Panteion University
Ann M. Berrington, University of Southampton
Ivan Cipin, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics & Business
Susana Clemente, Center of Geographic Studies (CEGUL)
Lars Dommermuth , Statistics Norway
Peter Fallesen, Rockwool Foundation
Dovile Galdauskaite , Vilnius University
Mathias Lerch , Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Cadhla McDonnell, Pennsylvania State University
Arno Muller, INED
Karel Neels , University of Antwerp
Olga Poetzsch, Federal Statistical Office
Diego Ramiro, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
Bernhard Riederer , Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/OAW, Univ. Vienna)
Saskia te Riele, Statistics Netherlands
Laura Szabó , Hungarian Demographic Research Institute
Laurent Toulemon , Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Daniele Vignoli , University of Florence
Krystof Zeman , Vienna Institute of Demography
Tina Žnidaršic, Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia
Mikko Myrskyla, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

As expected, birth rates have been affected across high-income countries in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Initial studies reported heterogeneous fertility responses across countries. Yet, country level assessments may mask important regional variation and paint an imprecise average picture. Regional level analyses are thus needed to deepen our understanding of the fertility response to Covid-19. Our study fills this gap. We conducted a rigorous data collection effort in 24 European countries, and report how the first pandemic wave affected birth rates across European sub-national regions. We find large sub-national regional variation in the birth rate response between December 2020 and May 2021, with more pronounced variation in countries with lower Covid-19-mortality rates during the first wave. Future analyses will formally assess regional heterogeneity in the fertility response within and across countries, and examine whether regional fertility response variation is predicted by regional Covid-19 infection- and mortality rates or economic indicators.

See paper

 Presented in Session P1. Postercafe