The WIC-Colloquium is a series of demography related talks taking place irregularily at the Vienna Institute of Demography.
Due to the restrictions affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the WIC-Colloquium series will be held on the online platform Zoom recently.

Baby bust in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic? First results from the new STFF data series

Baby bust in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic? First results from the new STFF data series

21 April 2021

Tomáš Sobotka & Kryštof Zeman
Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna)


Past evidence on fertility responses to external shocks, including economic recessions and the out-breaks of infectious diseases, show that people of-ten put their childbearing plans on hold in uncertaintimes. We study the most recent data on monthly birth trends to analyse the initial fertility responses to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ourresearch, based on new Short-Term Fertility Fluctu-ations (STFF) data series, embedded in the HumanFertility Database, shows the initial signs of the ex-pected “birth recession”. Monthly number of births in many countries have fallen sharply since October2020, often bringing about a clear reversal of theprevious trend. Across 17 countries with lower uc-tuations in births, births fell on average by 5.1% in November 2020, 6.5% in December 2020 and 8.9% in January 2021, compared with the same monthof the previous year. Spain sustained the sharpest drop in the number of births among the analysed countries, with the number of births plummeting by 20% in December 2020 and January 2021. Thecombined effect of rising mortality and falling birthrates is disrupting the balance of births and deaths in many countries, pushing natural population in-crease to record low levels.

About the presenters:

Tomáš Sobotkaleads the researchgroup Fertility and Family at theVienna Institute of Demography (OeAW). He also serves as an external lecturer at the Charles University in Prague and since 2021 as Editor of the Vienna Yearbook of Population Research. Kryštof Zeman is a research scientist with main focus on the Human Fertility Database project at the Department of Demography (Universityof Vienna). The presented work was created incollaboration with Aiva Jasilioniene, Ainhoa Alustiza Galarza, DmitriJdanov and László Németh from the Max Planck Institute for Demo-graphic Research (MPIDR).

Presentation Part I (Zeman)

Presentation Part II (Sobotka)


previous colloquia