CU Population Center

Institute of Behavioral Science

Beyond Boom and Bust: Heterogeneous Fertility Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Principal Investigator: Leslie Root

Funder: NICHD (R03HD110815)

CUPC Grant Bootcamp participant

This project is part of the Colorado Fertility Project. In partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau, we will use a dataset we created, Reproduction in People’s Lives (RIPL), which provides the full count individual-level longitudinal data needed to study how changes in fertility during the COVID-19 pandemic have varied by age, state, race and ethnicity, household income, and birth order. Using this dataset, we will link multiple U.S. administrative data sources, including individual tax filings microdata, the 2010 decennial Census, and social security data, to calculate age-specific fertility rates for all U.S. women by state and demographic subgroup for the years 2015 through 2021. Using the rates calculated for the pre-pandemic period (2015-2019), we will use demographic forecasting to generate counterfactual rates that represent estimated 2020-2021 fertility levels by state and demographic subgroup in the absence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The forecast counterfactuals allow us to estimate the portion of fertility change over the pandemic period that is the result of the pandemic, and to compare this portion across different age groups, sociodemographic subgroups, parities, and states.