Residential context, migration and fertility in a modern urban society

Hill Kulu*, Elizabeth Washbrook

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    40 Citations (Scopus)


    This study examines fertility variation by residential context in Britain. While there is a large literature on fertility trends and determinants in industrialised countries, to date longitudinal research on spatial fertility variation has been restricted to the Nordic countries. We study fertility variation across regions of different sizes, and within urban regions by distinguishing between central cities and suburbs. We use vital statistics and longitudinal data and apply event history analysis. We investigate the extent to which the socio-economic characteristics of couples and selective migrations explain fertility variation between residential contexts, and the extent to which contextual factors potentially play a role. Our analysis shows that fertility levels decline as the size of an urban area increases; within urban regions suburbs have significantly higher fertility levels than city centres. Differences in fertility by residential context persist when we control for the effect of population composition and selective migrations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)168-182
    Number of pages15
    JournalAdvances in Life Course Research
    Early online date13 Jan 2014
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


    • Fertility
    • Residential context
    • Migration
    • Event history analysis
    • UK


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