Fertility and City Living
Cities have been labeled in the past as “fertility traps“
Urban living is rising, and global fertility is on the declined; in the past the so the two factors have been linked. However, new research shows that the birth rate in 41 major cities in Europe and the USA is actually 7% higher than the national average of each country. Even cities with the highest cost of living show higher fertility rates, including London, New York and Stockholm
Cities have been expanding in population in the recent in the past few decades, and global fertility rates have been decreasing. Some demographers thought that the reasons people often move to the city education, better employment for women and family planning options, was causing the decrease in fertility.
New data shows that cities in developed nations are actually having a “mini baby boom.” In research conducted by the International Pensions unit of Allianz, it found that the birth rate in 41 major European and US cities is on average actually 7% higher than the national average of the country in which the city is located.
Researchers found that the higher birthrate pattern transcends borders: Cities with he highest increase in birthrates are:
- Lisbon (+50%)
- Bratislava (+31%)
- Birmingham UK (+17%)
- NYC +5%
- Chicago it was +3%,
- Dallas, +17%.
“Surprisingly, cities with some of the highest living and housing expenses also show an excess birthrate compared to the national average,” said Brigitte Miksa, Allianz. These include:
- New York City
- Munich (+5%)
- London (+8%)
- Stockholm (+13%)
- Copenhagen (+14%)
- Oslo (+16%)
the reasons for fertility increase in some cities include:
- better opportunities for jobs that offer work-life balance
- more comprehensive infrastructure with easier access to childcare
- shifting attitudes towards parenthood among affluent couples
- increases in immigration
Allianz researchers cautioned that a city baby boom is a demographic plus, but of the cities surveyed, only Dallas and Birmingham have fertility rates of 2.1 children per women, the number needed for one generation to replace itself without immigration.
Five other cities – Brussels, Stockholm, Oslo, London and New York – have fertility levels just under the replacement rate. What this means, according to Brigitte Miksa, is that “countries will still need to find other ways to sustain their populations and fund their public services and pensions systems.”
Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
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