What is happening with fertility in the southern European regions? A comparative analysis between Spain and Italy

Ana Touriño, University of A Coruña
Raimundo Otero, University of A Coruña

A large literature has focused in exploring the phenomenon of the low fertility in the Southern European countries. However, until more recently no attention has been paid to the importance of the regional context in the understanding of fertility levels. This is now changing thanks to the increase of data available for the infra-national scale. In this framework, some authors have found that there is a dynamic of reduction of the internal regional differences in the fertility levels in Europe, a phenomenon that still persists in low-fertility countries. This paper aims to provide an explanation for the variations in the fertility levels between the Spain and Italy regions, where more differences exist. In order to set this analysis, the first step was to perform a classification of the European countries –for those with data available– according to their degree of interregional variation in fertility levels. The second part of this study focuses on explaining why such interregional differences occur in the Spanish and Italian cases. To do this, we have considered the factors involved in the women fertility decisions, controlling by region, using data from Fertility Surveys. A model was developed and contrasted to explain the regional differences in the fertility levels of Spain and Italy, giving us the opportunity to understand what may be happening in other low-fertility societies.

Presented in Poster Session 3