Exploring the Linkages between Fertility and Climate in Low Fertility Contexts: Parity Transitions in Select Eastern European and Central Asian Countries

Kathryn Grace , University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Sunnee Billingsley, Stockholm University

Climate change is anticipated to increase rainfall and temperature variability and extremes across the planet. Researchers have begun to focus attention on the behavioral and biological health effects of climate change but research addressing behavioral and biological aspects of women’s reproductive health and fertility in a context of climate change is extremely limited. This project uses an innovative combination of climate, livelihood, and population data to investigate births in different middle-income countries with different and uneven levels of development. Related population-environment research has historically focused only on wealthy countries or on the primarily high fertility countries in sub-Saharan Africa. We expand on this research focused on reproductive outcomes and climate through an examination of childbearing with a focus on parity progression and birth timing in communities where both contraception and abortion are widely available, culturally acceptable, and routinely used. The research demonstrates the use of climate variables to help explain seasonal trends or timing trends in childbearing; it also highlights the linkages between climate, livelihoods, and fertility, in middle income, lower fertility countries.

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 Presented in Session P12. Demographic Transition and Environmental Change