Volume 35 - Article 53 | Pages 1549–1560  

Estimating male fertility in eastern and western Germany since 1991: A new lowest low?

By Christian Dudel, Sebastian Kluesener


Background: Research on fertility differentials between eastern and western Germany after German reunification in 1990 has focused on the fertility of women. Trends in the fertility of men are rarely studied due to data constraints and methodological challenges.

Objective: This paper aims to close this gap by analyzing fertility differentials between eastern and western German males over the period 1991-2013. We consider different approaches to estimate male fertility and investigate variation in fertility trends, levels, and timing.

Methods: We use German birth register data to estimate age-specific fertility rates and total fertility rates. As the paternal age is unknown for a non-negligible proportion of births, we compare imputation techniques and conduct sensitivity analyses. For the population at risk we employ adjusted numbers that attempt to account for the overcount in the population of childbearing age in the 1990s and the 2000s.

Results: The trends and differences in the fertility of eastern and western German men are roughly similar to those observed among women. However, male fertility levels are lower, and male and female fertility vary in terms of timing. The total fertility rate of eastern German males in 1994 of 0.74 is likely to represent a record low. Whereas the fertility levels of eastern German women recently surpassed those of western German women, the fertility levels of eastern German men are still lower than those of their western German counterparts.

Contribution: We compare methods to estimate male fertility trends.

Author's Affiliation

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

Editorial to the Special Issue on Demographic Data Visualization: Getting the point across – Reaching the potential of demographic data visualization
Volume 44 - Article 36

Exploring the demographic history of populations with enhanced Lexis surfaces
Volume 42 - Article 6

The Contextual Database of the Generations and Gender Programme: Concept, content, and research examples
Volume 35 - Article 9

Spatial inequalities in infant survival at an early stage of the longevity revolution: A pan-European view across 5000+ regions and localities in 1910
Volume 30 - Article 68

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

The big decline: Lowest-low fertility in Uruguay (2016–2021)
Volume 50 - Article 16    | Keywords: adolescent fertility, birth order, fertility, Latin America, ultra-low fertility, Uruguay

Cohort fertility of immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union
Volume 50 - Article 13    | Keywords: age at first birth, assimilation, cohort analysis, fertility, immigration, parity, religiosity

Fertility decline, changes in age structure, and the potential for demographic dividends: A global analysis
Volume 50 - Article 9    | Keywords: age structure, demographic dividend, demographic transition, fertility, migration, population momentum, working-age population

Analyzing hyperstable population models
Volume 49 - Article 37    | Keywords: birth trajectory, cohort analysis, cyclical populations, dynamic population model, fertility, hyperstable, period

Measuring the educational gradient of period fertility in 28 European countries: A new approach based on parity-specific fertility estimates
Volume 49 - Article 34    | Keywords: education, Europe, period fertility, quantum, tempo, total fertility rate (TFR)