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  • ESRC funding to understand recent fertility trends in the UK

    CPC Co-Director Professor Hill Kulu with a team of CPC researchers including Professor Ann Berrington, Professor Jakub Bijak, Dr Erengul Dodd and Professor Jane Falkingham, have been awarded new ESRC funding to investigate the causes of recent fertility fluctuations in the UK and forecast future trends.

    The last two decades have witnessed dramatic fluctuations in fertility levels, which was not predicted by demographers or government statisticians. Professor Kulu explains,

    A decline in fertility levels by 10% will lead to about 40 thousand fewer new-born babies in the UK annually, and the effects may be even more pronounced locally. In the context of rapid population ageing and fluctuating migration numbers, there is an urgent need to measure the contribution of births to the growth and, even more importantly, age composition of the British population.

    Fluctuations in fertility will have significant implications for planning and policymaking, at both national and local levels. The funding from the ESRC allows CPC researchers to help policy makers plan for the short- and long- term. Using census-linked administrative data from the ONS Longitudinal Study, Scottish Longitudinal Study, and Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study, together with survey data from the Understanding Society study, this project carries out a detailed analysis of fertility by parity (birth order) to improve future forecasts of fertility.

    The project brings together CPC researchers with government statisticians from ONS, NRS, and NISRA. The project will greatly improve our understanding of the factors associated with changing fertility in the UK and will improve the methodology used for fertility forecasts for the UK and its constituent countries. A better understanding of the present childbearing trends and forecast of the future developments will be critical to inform the planning of demand for various public services such as nurseries, school places and housing.

    Posted 21/08/2019 14:11