Stockholm University
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Fertility Decline in Iceland, 2013–2022 Trends and Structures

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posted on 2023-11-27, 08:14 authored by Ari Klængur JónssonAri Klængur Jónsson

Iceland is one of the Western countries that have experienced an unexpected fertility decrease in the 2010s. In this study the aggregate Icelandic fertility decline is dissected to explore which fertility components are the main drivers behind the decline since 2010 to better understand whether the development is associated with compositional changes or linked to changes such as increased propensities of childlessness and decreased propensities to have another child. Official administrative register data is analysed by means of event-history analysis. Findings are presented as parity-specific birth risks and in the form of Kaplan-Meier estimates of synthetic period-based cohorts of women and men progressing to parity one over calendar years. Results show that the fertility decline was concentrated around first births, and the decline can principally be attributed to women under the age of thirty. Propensities to remain childless have increased since 2013, while there were no declines in the intensities to have a second and a third child. The development in Iceland appears to be driven by clear postponement of parenthood but not altered childbearing behaviour in terms of propensities to have a second and a third child. Socioeconomic differentials in first-birth fertility in Iceland and factors affecting postponement and ultimate childlessness should be explored further.


Icelandic Research Fund (grant no.228294)




Original title

Fertility Decline in Iceland, 2013–2022 Trends and Structures

Original language

  • English

Publication date



  • public