VID Colloquium

Gender-role Expectations and Fertility Rates in EU Member States

Nico Keilman, University of Oslo (Norway)

Date: Tue, 8 May 2012, Time: 16:00 - 17:00

Since the 1970s, there have been many more boys born in China than girls. In 1975, 106 boys were born for every 100 girls: the same value as for most countries. Although this so-called sex ratio at birth climbed steadily to 120 boys per 100 girls in 2005, the strong imbalance between the sexes has been ignored in studies of future fertility. Assumptions about future Chinese fertility of 1.5-1.8 children per woman during the next few decades are usual among population forecasters. Here we show that male fertility will be considerably lower than that because many men will remain childless. A shortage of new born girls in a certain year will lead to a shortage of women of prime reproductive age two to four decades later, fewer marriages, fewer births, and lower population growth. Thus, the overall level of fertility in China, of both men and women, will result in fewer births than previously thought, and the long-term rate of population decline will be twice as large.

About the presenter
Nico Keilman is Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Oslo. He was previously affiliated with Statistics Norway, NIDI, and Statistics Netherlands. His research interests are population forecasting, statistical and mathematical demography, modelling of household and family dynamics. Further details and a list of publications are accessible at:

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