Housing and Fertility: New Conceptualizations of Housing As a Social Institution and the Relationship with Tfr across Low-Fertility Countries

Sarah Brauner-Otto, McGill University

Since the mid-1900s, fertility levels worldwide have declined markedly reaching particularly low levels in most economically developed countries. Low fertility (when women have fewer than 2 children on average) leads to aging, shrinking populations unless dramatic immigration policies are put in place. There is widespread agreement that country-level institutional differences are the main factors behind the TFR differences and housing is arguably the least studied of such institutions. This paper examines the relationship between housing and fertility across 37 low-fertility countries. Using newly compiled indicators of multiple dimensions of housing we explore housing from the perspective of renters, home buyers, and lenders. Analyses reveal that previously used typologies of housing regimes do not hold over time. Alternative conceptualizations paint a complicated picture and reveal a weakening relationship between housing and fertility over time.

Presented in Poster Session 1