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Abstract

Being more sensitive to economic fluctuations, childbearing postponement increased during the second demographic transition and was accompanied by a moderate decline in the number of children per woman and the progressive rise of mother’s age at first birth. Under the hypothesis that recessions have a marked influence on population dynamics, the present study investigates spatial changes in mother’s age at birth in Greece with the aim to assess the differential impact of economic crisis along the urban-rural gradient. The percent composition of births by mother's age class – considered a gross indicator of fertility under a changing socioeconomic context – was studied at 4 spatial scales (the whole country, administrative regions, prefectures and metropolitan areas or specific economic districts) over an economic cycle from expansion to recession (1980–2016). While stimulating childbearing postponement observed since the early 1980s, empirical results of this study indicate that the 2007 recession was quite neutral on fertility trends in Greece, consolidating the traditional divide between urban and rural areas.
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