DYNAMICS AND STRUCTURE OF FERTILITY IN THE LARGEST CITIES IN UKRAINE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE XXI CENTURY
Keywords:large city, urban fertility, mean age at childbearing
The largest cities have significant socio-economic and cultural impact that extends over the surrounding region as well as beyond. It can be expected that the model of reproductive behaviour of their inhabitants will be extended to other populations. Therefore, the research of detailed fertility rates and the study of the peculiarities of the transformation of the fertility model in such cities is relevant. In addition, there have been some changes since the previous publication on this topic that require clarification. The purpose of the article is to find out the current peculiarities of the dynamics and structural characteristics of fertility in six cities of Ukraine: Dnipro, Donetsk, Kyiv, Lviv, Odessa, Kharkiv and compare them with similar indicators of the rest of the population of the respective regions. The scientific novelty of this paper lies in the first ever comparison of the birth rates in large cities with those of the rest of the population, in particular urban of the relevant administrative units. Methods of population statistics are used, namely: calculation and analysis of demographic indicators, graphical and tabular methods. This study focuses on birth rates in Kyiv in recent years, both because of a trend different from other regions and the availability of more detailed data, including the birth order of a child. After 2014, in the largest cities of Ukraine, with the exception of Kyiv, a new decline in fertility has started. The opposite dynamics in Kyiv are caused by both a current underestimation of population size and the dissemination of childbirth registration practices in medical institutions since 2016. In both cases, this means registering births in Kyiv by women who are not registered as residents of the city. Conversely, the regions where these women came from have an overestimation of the population and, consequently, a lower birth rate than it really is. It is not possible to exclude births by women by the region of origin. Taking into account unofficial estimates of the actual population of Kyiv, the total fertility rate in 2018 should be about 1.2-1.3, and not 1.53 children per woman according to official calculation. This result approximates the corresponding indicators of other metropolitan areas of Ukraine: from 0.95 in Kharkiv to 1.24 in Odessa in 2018. In all metropolitan areas, as well as in Ukraine as a whole, there is a tendency of growth of the mean childbearing age. Accordingly, the age of mother distribution is transformed. A study of age specific birth rates has shown that the birth-rate profile in major cities of Ukraine has been repeated for about a decade and a half in other urban settlements. This confirms the hypothesis that the model of reproductive behaviour of metropolitan residents extends to the rest of the population of Ukraine. It is shown that the birth rate increase in Kyiv is due to the first births against the background of the increase of the mean age at first birth. At the same time, the share of births of children of higher parities of birth in Kyiv is not increasing. Birth rates are compared in major cities in several countries. It is shown that, given the low birth rate already achieved, its level in the biggest cities may be lower or higher than the birth rate in the region, although in most cases lower or near birth rates can be seen. Instead, in countries that still hold traditions of higher fertility, metropolitan residents tend to have a lower birth rate.
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