Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Almirall says comparing SMART designs will increase treatment quality for children with autism

Thompson says America must "unchoose" policies that have led to mass incarceration

Alter says lack of access to administrative data is "big drag on research"


Knodel honored by Thailand's Chulalongkorn University

Susan Murphy to speak at U-M kickoff for data science initiative, Oct 6, Rackham

Andrew Goodman-Bacon, former trainee, wins 2015 Nevins Prize for best dissertation in economic history

Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 12 at noon, 6050 ISR
Joe Grengs: Policy & planning for transportation equity

The "Second Demographic Transition" in the U.S.: Spatial Patterns and Correlates

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionLesthaeghe, Ron J., and Lisa Neidert. 2006. "The "Second Demographic Transition" in the U.S.: Spatial Patterns and Correlates." PSC Research Report No. 06-592. March 2006.

This paper examines the spatial patterns and correlates of fertility among non-Hispanic white women in the United States. While the United States is often discussed as an exception to the below-replacement-fertility patterns of Europe, our analysis documents that marriage and fertility postponement and premarital cohabitation in the US are following the same trends as in western Europe. In fact, several Northeastern states in the US show age-specific fertility trends that are in line with the Netherlands, which has the latest age schedule of fertility in Europe.

The United States is well on its way to a second demographic transition (SDT) with rising ages at marriage, growing rates of cohabitation, increases in single person households, declining remarriage rates, a trend towards fertility postponement, and higher rates of childlessness. However, just as in Europe, major regional leads and lags in patterns of reproduction and political values are present in the United States. The states in the Northeastern US as well as those on the west coast and along the Great Lakes, exhibit family formation and fertility patterns that are very similar to those of Europe, while much of the South, the Great Plains, and some Mountain states, exhibit traditional patterns of fertility based on early marriage and childbearing, and high teen and non-marital fertility. The same states that score high on the SDT factor are also the “blue” states of the last few political elections. The second demographic transition is clearly correlated with religious and political dimensions. After controlling for structural, ethnic, and religious factors, we find that the SDT patterning is co-responsible for the political divide and election results in the US.

SDT Project web site

Countries of focus: Netherlands, United States of America.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next