Spatial Aspects of the Rise of Nonmarital Fertility Across Europe Since 1960: The Role of States and Regions in Shaping Patterns of Change

  • Sebastian Klüsener
  • Brienna Perelli-Harris
  • Nora Sánchez Gassen
Article

Abstract

This article investigates the role of states and regions in shaping spatial patterns of nonmarital fertility in Europe since 1960 using a dataset of 497 European subnational regions and smaller countries. Almost all regions registered substantial nonmarital fertility increases over the last 50 years. Prior research has shown that in the first half of the twentieth century states played a dominant role in drawing the demographic map of Europe (Watkins, From provinces into nations: demographic integration in Western Europe 1870–1960. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1991). As a result, subnational regional variation decreased, while differences between countries increased. In this article, we investigate whether states continue to play such a dominant role in delineating patterns of nonmarital fertility between 1960 and 2007. We find that variation in nonmarital fertility levels increased as a whole across Europe, and states continued to be important for determining these patterns. However, the role of states relative to regions declined in the latest period examined (1990 and 2007). Possible explanations for the changes include increased supranational integration, for example, within the European Union, and decentralisation within states leading to increases in variation in subnational contextual conditions.

Keywords

Nonmarital fertility Europe Spatial analysis Regional variation Nation states Supranational integration 

Aspects spatiaux de l’augmentation de la fécondité hors mariage en Europe depuis 1960: Le rôle des États et des régions dans l’élaboration de modèles de transformation

Résumé

Cet article étudie le rôle des États et des régions dans l’élaboration des modèles spatiaux de fécondité hors mariage en Europe depuis 1960 à l’aide d’un ensemble de données de 497 régions infranationales et petits pays européens. Presque toutes les régions ont enregistré de substantielles augmentations de fécondité hors mariage au cours des 50 dernières années. Une précédente recherche a montré qu’au cours de la première moitié du 20ème siècle, les États ont joué un rôle prédominant dans l’établissement de la carte démographique de l’Europe (Watkins, From provinces into nations: demographic integration in Western Europe 1870–1960. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1991). En conséquence, la variation infranationale régionale a diminué tandis que les différences entre les pays ont augmenté. Dans cet artiche, nous examinons dans quelle mesure les États continuent à jouer ce rôle prédominant dans la définition des modèles de fécondité hors mariage entre 1960 et 2007. Nous constatons que les niveaux de fécondité hors mariage ont augmenté dans l’ensemble de l’Europe et que les États continuent à jouer un rôle important dans la détermination de ces modèles. Toutefois, le rôle des États par rapport aux régions a diminué au cours de la dernière période étudiée (1990 et 2007). Les explications possibles des changements incluent la croissance de l’intégration supranationale, par exemple au sein de l’Union Européenne, et la décentralisation au sein des États, engendrant une augmentation de la variabilité des conditions contextuelles infranationales.

Mots-clés

Fécondité hors mariage Europe Analyse spatiale Variation régionale États-nations Intégration supranationale 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian Klüsener
    • 1
  • Brienna Perelli-Harris
    • 2
  • Nora Sánchez Gassen
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institute for Demographic ResearchRostockGermany
  2. 2.Social Statistics & Demography, Social SciencesUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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