News

Combining individual- and population-level data to develop a Bayesian parity-specific fertility projection model
November 2023
We have published a new paper in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Read the paper here.

Estimating the 2011 total fertility rate for England & Wales and Scotland using alternative data sources
September 2023
We have published a new CPC-CG Working Paper estimating the 2011 total fertility rate using the ONS Longitudinal Study, Scottish Longitudinal Study, and the 2011 Census Secure Household Microdata samples, compared to estimates from vital registration. Read the paper here.

Education and Fertility: A Review of Recent Research in Europe
September 2023
We have published a new paper in Comparative Population Studies exploring the link between education and fertility in Europe, and how the relationship is shaped by contextual factors such as family policies, macroeconomic shocks, and normative changes in gender attitudes. Read the paper here.

British Society for Population Studies (BSPS) Conference
September 2023
Members of the FertilityTrends team attended the 50th anniversary British Society for Population Studies (BSPS) Conference held in Keele, England, and Dr Sarah Christison presented research on ‘Fertility trends and changing housing contexts in Scotland: A longitudinal analysis’.

Understanding fertility trends in Britain
April 2023
We have published a new CPC-CG Working Paper on fertility intentions across England, Wales and Scotland. The paper examines the different childbearing trends across the three countries and uses survey data to establish whether intended family size choices contribute to the differences. Read the paper here.

PAA Conference
April 2023
The FertilityTrends team presented work at the Population Association of America (PAA) Conference this week in New Orleans, USA.  Dr Joanne Ellison presented research on whether incorporating parity information can improve the reliability of fertility projections, Dr Bernice Kuang presented a poster examining the changing educational gradient of fertility in the UK, Prof Hill Kulu presented a poster highlighting research on fertility trends by birth order in Britain, and Dr Sarah Christison presented a poster on understanding the realisation of jointly held residential mobility and fertility intentions.

Letter to the Editor
December 2022
A letter by Dr Bernice Kuang and Professor Ann Berrington highlighting cross-national differences in the use of contraception and abortion services between England, Wales, and Scotland has been published in BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health. Read the letter here.

Fertility in Scotland
November 2022
In collaboration with the Scottish Government Population Team, FertilityTrends project team members presented at a ‘Fertility in Scotland’ workshop in Edinburgh on 29 November 2022.  Workshop participants included invited guests from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), National Records of Scotland (NRS), and the Finnish Population Research Institue.

Are GAMs a useful addition to the demographer’s toolkit?
October 2022
A paper where we investigate the application of generalized additive models to discrete-time event history analysis for birth events has been published in Demographic Research.  Read the article here.

Training Workshops
October 2022
We hosted over 140 national and local government statisticians and social and demographic researchers at two training workshops we held recently on Fertility Analysis by Birth Order (30 September 2022) and Parity-specific Fertility Projections (7 October 2022). Thank you to all of the attendees.

British Society for Population Studies (BSPS) Conference 2022
September 2022
The FertilityTrends team presented work at the British Society for Population Studies (BSPS) Conference, 5-7 September 2022.  Presentations included: Educational differences in childbearing by parity: A cross‐national comparison of England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Fertility trends by birth order in Britain: The comparison between England and Wales, and Scotland, Improving methods for fertility forecasting through the incorporation of parity information, and Understanding the realization of jointly held residential mobility and fertility intentions: How has the sequencing of intention fulfilment changed over time?  Watch a video of Dr. Joanne Ellison’s presentation below:

Education and fertility in Europe in the last decade: A review of the literature
July 2022
We have published a new working paper examining how educational enrollment and attainment influence individuals’ fertility behaviour – both fertility timing and level – and how the relationship between education and fertility is shaped by contextual factors. Read the working paper here

European Population Conference 2022
June 2022
At the European Population Conference (EPC), being held this week, Dr. Bernice Kuang will present ‘Changing Educational Patterns of Childlessness in the United Kingdom: A Comparison of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland‘, and Dr. Joanne Ellison will present ‘Improving Methods for Fertility Forecasting through the Incorporation of Parity Information‘.

Nordic Demographic Symposium 2022
June 2022
Members of the FertilityTrends project are travelling to Oslo this week for the Nordic Demographic Symposium, where Dr. Sarah Christison will present ‘Fertility Behaviour and the Residential Context: a longitudinal analysis of fertility trends in Scotland’, Dr. Joanne Ellison will present ‘Improving Methods for Fertility Forecasting through the Incorporation of Parity Information’, and Dr. Bernice Kuang will present ‘Changing Educational Patterns of Childlessness in the United Kingdom: A Comparison of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland’.

Effect of lockdowns on birth rates in the UK
April 2022
Professor Ann Berrington and Dr. Joanne Ellison have written an article for The Conversation looking at the ‘Effect of lockdowns on birth rates in the UK‘. Dr. Sarah Christison, Dr. Bernice Kuang and Professor Hill Kulu also contributed to this article.

COVID-19 pandemic resulted in temporary decline in number of babies born in the UK
January 2022
Our work was featured, and Professor Ann Berrington was quoted, in a CPC news article examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the number of births in the UK. Read the news article here.

Combining data sources to develop a fertility projection model
January 2022
Dr Joanne Ellison‘s microthesis ‘Combining data sources to develop a fertility projection model’ has been published in the January edition of the London Mathematical Society Newsletter. The microthesis gives a high-level overview of her PhD thesis in just two pages. Read on pages 48-49 here.

Scenario-based fertility projections incorporating impacts of COVID-19
December 2021
Our paper ‘Scenario-based fertility projections incorporating impacts of COVID-19’ was published in Population, Space and Place. The paper examines the recent declines in period fertility in the constituent countries of the UK during the past decade and speculates mechanisms through which the COVID-19 pandemic could influence childbearing in the UK.  Read the full paper here and a summary in CPC policy briefing 66 here.

Theory and Explanation in Demography: The case of low fertility in Europe
December 2021
Professor Elspeth Graham published a paper in the 75th anniversary special issue of Population Studies, posing the question “Why is fertility currently low across Europe?”. Read the paper here.

Pandemic Babies?
December 2021
Professor Ann Berrington presented ‘Scenario-based fertility projections incorporating impacts of COVID-19’ at the ‘Pandemic Babies? The Covid-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Fertility and Family Dymanics’ conference on 14 December 2021.

IUSSP International Population Conference
December 2021
The FertilityTrends team presented work at the IUSSP International Population Conference, 5-10 December 2021.  Presentations included: scenario-based fertility projections incorporating impacts of COVID-19; two decades of fertility fluctuation in Great Britain; improving methodology for fertility forecasting through the incorporation of individual-level data and population-level parity information; and cross-national differences in the use of contraception and abortion services between England, Wales and Scotland. The full programme is available here. The poster can be viewed here and videos of the presentations can be viewed on our presentations webpage.

Buying a house no longer comes before having children
September 2021
Previous work looking at the link between homeownership and entering parenthood has been featured in an article in The Telegraph.  Read the article here.

Homeownership and the transition to parenthood
August 2021
Previous work investigating whether and how the link between homeownership and entering parenthood has changed in Britain in recent decades has now been published.  Read the full findings in Demography here and a summary in CPC policy briefing 63 here.

Media coverage of declining levels of fertility caused by Covid-19
March 2021
Our recent working paper received local, national and international media coverage including:
Coronavirus: UK fertility rate falls to lowest level on record, Yahoo News
Covid ‘baby bust’ fears as fertility rate falls to record low, The Telegraph
Britain must reverse the baby bust to avoid an Italian decline, The Telegraph
Covid-19 could cause historically low levels of childbearing in the UK, University of Southampton
Covid pandemic could see baby bust rather than a baby boom, About Manchester

Recent trends in UK fertility and potential impacts of Covid-19
March 2021
We have published a working paper which examines the recent declines in period fertility in the constituent countries of the UK during the past decade and speculates the mechanisms through which the COVID-19 pandemic could influence childbearing in the UK. Read the working paper here.

Using vital registration data to understand differences in childbearing patterns between the four countries of the UK
September 2020
Professor Ann Berrington presented at the British Society for Population Studies conference, in September 2020, on Using vital registration data to understand differences in childbearing patterns between the four countries of the UK.

Birth strike? How are environmental concerns associated with young adults’ fertility intentions?
June 2020
Professor Ann Berrington presented her paper ‘Birth strike? How are environmental concerns associated with young adults’ fertility intentions?’ in session 6: Fertility at times of crisis: from economic recession to climate change at the European Population Conference webinar, 26 June, 12:00-13:00. Listen to the recording here.

ESRC grant awarded
August 2019
Professor Hill Kulu leads a joint research team of the Universities of St Andrews and Southampton and has been awarded an ESRC grant of £708,000 to investigate recent fertility trends in the UK and project future developments. Read more here.