Stockholm University
Srrd_2024_01_edited.pdf (1.15 MB)

Trust and fertility intentions in high-trust Sweden: An exploratory analysis

Download (1.15 MB)
posted on 2024-01-22, 05:53 authored by Mark Gortfelder, Gerda NeyerGerda Neyer

Trust has recently received some attention in the demographic literature as one potential factor for fertility in post-industrial societies. The relevance of trust has been argued for in three ways. First, greater social trust is related to greater willingness of parents of young children to use daycare service. Second, trust acts as a resilience mechanism against different uncertainties and hence couples are less stressed about how uncertainties affect their ability of childrearing. Third, trust is related to a host of positive political and economic outcomes that all enable childbearing. So far studies have used macro-level or multilevel frameworks and a measure of social trust that is trustworthiness of fellow members of society. We use two novel modules of the Swedish Generations and Gender Survey 2021 to study this relationship. First, analyse the effect of interpersonal and institutional trust measures on individuals’ fertility intentions. Second, we additionally inquire whether either interpersonal or institutional trust acts as a resilience mechanism against various individual but also global uncertainties. The results do not show trust to be an important factor behind fertility intentions in Sweden. This may be due to our focus on a high-trust economically successful welfare state with inclusive labour market and family services.


Rising social inequalities and Swedish fertility decline

Swedish Research Council for Health Working Life and Welfare

Find out more...

Fertility intentions and fertility decline in Sweden

Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation

Find out more...




Original title

Trust and fertility intentions in high-trust Sweden: An exploratory analysis

Original language

  • English

Publication date



  • public