Volume 16 - Article 6 | Pages 141–194

Modeling fertility in modern populations

By Paraskevi Peristera, Anastasia Kostaki

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Date received:20 Apr 2006
Date published:06 Mar 2007
Word count:6548
Keywords:age-specific fertility rate (ASFR), heterogeneity, high early-ages fertility, parametric modeling, parametric models, parity-specific fertility


The age-specific fertility pattern has a typical shape common in all human populations through years. In order to describe this shape a number of parametric models have been proposed. Recently, the fertility pattern in developed countries exhibits a deviation from the classical one. Recent data sets of United Kingdom, Ireland and US show distortions in terms of a bulge in fertility rates of younger women. Furthermore in countries with distorted fertility, the pattern of first births also exhibits an intense hump in younger ages, stronger than that of the total fertility pattern.
This heterogeneity indicated by the recent fertility distributions of European countries and the US might be related to marital status, religion, educational level and differences in social and economic conditions. Additionally in the United States this heterogeneity in fertility patterns might be related to ethnic differences in the timing and the number of births. As expected, the existing models are unable to describe the new shape of the fertility pattern and therefore the use of more appropriate representations is required.
In this paper, a new flexible model for describing both the old and the new patterns of fertility is proposed. In order to evaluate the adequacy of the model, we fit it to a variety of empirical fertility schedule.

Author's Affiliation

Paraskevi Peristera - Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece [Email]
Anastasia Kostaki - Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Graduating the age-specific fertility pattern using Support Vector Machines
Volume 20 - Article 25

» Expanding an abridged life table
Volume 5 - Article 1

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