The effect of temperature on birth rates in Europe

Using data from 32 European countries for nearly 244 million live births between 1969 and 2021, this paper examines the effects of temperatures on birth rates. The results show that exposure to hot days slightly reduces birth rates five to eight months later, while much stronger negative effects are observed nine to ten months after exposure to hot temperatures. Thereafter, a partial recovery is observed, with slightly increased birth rates. This study also shows that the effect of high-humidity hot days is much stronger than that of hot days with low humidity. Besides, the effect of heatwave days has been found to be more severe than that of hot days that are not preceded by other hot days. This study finds that some adaptation to heat can only be expected in the long run, which suggests that climate change may have a negative impact on the number of live births in the twenty-first century.

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