Modelling Variation in Fertility Rates using Geographically Weighted Regression

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    Australia is one of the largest countries in the world, and also one of the most urbanised. At the national level it can be characterised as a country with low fertility and high income per capita. However, there are significant geographic inequalities between different areas of the country in terms of fertility rates as well as education levels, income and employment opportunities. In this paper, we use birth registration and Census data to explore the spatial variation of fertility in Australia and how it relates to compositional and contextual characteristics of places. Geographically weighted regression allows us to analyse the spatial relationships and identify the geographical variability in the fertility experience of Australian women. We find substantial variation with some areas having a total fertility rate well above or below the national average. Around metropolitan areas much of the variation can be explained by differences in the socio-economic composition of the local population. However in more rural or remote parts of the country, understanding the variation in fertility is more difficult.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)121-140
    JournalSpatial Demography
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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