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The University of Southampton
Social Statistics and DemographyPart of Economic, Social & Political Science

Economic recession, education and fertility

Understanding and projecting fertility trends in the constituent countries of the UK

Fertility in the UK increased in the first decade of the 21st century before declining -- dramatic fluctuations that were not predicted by demographers or government statisticians. These fluctuations have significant implications for planning and policy making, at both national and local levels

Ann Berrington and colleagues have been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council to examine these fluctuations and understand why the trends are different in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. They have examined the role of international migration, economic factors, education and religion.

They are working with the statistical demographers from the department including Jakub Bijak to use these insights to improve the methodology of fertility projections. These methodological developments will be of use to stakeholders in the National Statistical Offices. A better understanding of present childbearing trends and forecast of future developments is critical to inform the planning of demand for various public services such as nurseries, school places and housing.

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