Religion and Fertility in the United States: A Geographical Analysis
Lisa Jordan, University of Colorado at Boulder
Only a few demographic studies look at the spatial patterns and correlates of fertility in the United States; and, despite its importance, the research on spatial variability excludes analyses of religion and fertility. In pursuit of a geographic analysis of religion and fertility, this paper examines the association between county-level fertility rates (1998-2002) and religious adherence, controlling for mediating demographic and economic variables. GIS techniques are used to map fertility rates across the U.S., and Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) results of fertility and religion yield mappable regression parameters. This paper finds that religion is, in fact, significantly related to county-level fertility rates. Of particular interest are maps of local parameters that illustrate where Catholic adherence has positive, negative, or insignificant local effects on fertility rate.