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The end of lowest-low fertility in Japan? Spatial analysis of the upturn in fertility after 2005

Miho Iwasawa, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Tokyo
Ryuichi Kaneko, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Tokyo
Kenji Kamata, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Tokyo
Kimiko Tanaka, University of Wisconsin at Madison
James Raymo, University of Wisconsin at Madison

After 2000, the downward trend in total fertility rates (TFRs) in lowest-low fertility countries (TFR<1.3) appears to have reversed. The goal of this paper is to examine factors associated with the fertility upturn in Japan after 2005. We focus on tempo effects, economic improvement and increases in new family formation behaviors (e.g., cohabitation, divorce, non-marital childbearing and maternal labor force participation). We employ spatial analytic techniques using measures of fertility and socio-economic variables at the prefecture (state)-level. Estimates from spatial error models indicate that TFR upturn occurred in more economically favorable areas, but the association with new family behaviors is not so clear. Even after controlling for spatial heterogeneity, clusters of fertility increase are apparent in the Southern part of Japan (Kyusyu). We offer possible interpretations of this spatial correlation.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Poster Session 3: migration, environment and spatial demography