Human Development And Low Fertility

Mikko Myrskylä, University of Pennsylvania
Hans-Peter Kohler, University of Pennsylvania

We study the relationship between human development indicators and fertility with focus on low fertility countries. The most developed countries led both the first and second demographic transitions, and during these transitions, development indicators were inversely correlated with fertility levels. Data for 100 countries for the period 1975-2005 suggest that countries with highest development are again leading the transition: these countries show signs of fertility recovery from very low levels closer to replacement levels, and among the most developed countries, the association between fertility and development has changed from negative to positive.

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Presented in Session 3: Low Fertility in Comparative Perspective