Fertility and its meaning: Evidence from search behavior

Jussi Ojala, Emilio Zagheni, Francesco C. Billari, Ingmar Weber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fertility choices are linked to the different preferences and constraints of individuals and couples, and vary importantly by socio-economic status, as well by cultural and institutional context. The meaning of childbearing and childrearing, therefore, differs between individuals and across groups. In this paper, we combine data from Google Correlate and Google Trends for the U.S. with ground truth data from the American Community Survey to derive new insights into fertility and its meaning. First, we show that Google Correlate can be used to illustrate socio-economic differences on the circumstances around pregnancy and birth: e.g., searches for "flying while pregnant" are linked to high income fertility, and "paternity test" are linked to non-marital fertility. Second, we combine several search queries to build predictive models of regional variation in fertility, explaining about 75% of the variance. Third, we explore if aggregated web search data can also be used to model fertility trends.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th International Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2017
PublisherAAAI press
Pages640-643
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781577357889
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Event11th International Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2017 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 15 May 201718 May 2017

Other

Other11th International Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2017
CountryCanada
CityMontreal
Period15/5/1718/5/17

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

Cite this

Ojala, J., Zagheni, E., Billari, F. C., & Weber, I. (2017). Fertility and its meaning: Evidence from search behavior. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2017 (pp. 640-643). AAAI press.