New research shows people who live in neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of high-density development tend to be more likely to have a baby
New research suggests that people who are most likely to live in high-rise areas are also the most likely individuals to have babies.
The findings, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, offer some of the first evidence linking the number of babies in a neighborhood to its overall density.
In a study published online Monday (July 15), researchers examined census data from the United States and China to determine the proportion of high and low-rise residents in each country.
While high-rises account for more than half of all residential development, the researchers found that the proportion living in high rise areas was just 10 percent of the population.
In the United Kingdom, for example, high-use zones accounted for less than 10 percent.
Low-rise density, meanwhile, made up just 4 percent of high use areas, and low density accounted for just 2 percent of low use areas.
This difference in density was consistent across countries.
“High-density neighborhoods have high levels of housing stock, but they are often concentrated in low-density areas,” the researchers wrote.
“Low-density households in low density neighborhoods are less likely to be in low income areas, in communities with higher rates of poverty, and are more likely than high-income households to have children.”
The researchers then looked at factors such as gender and ethnicity, education, and race to determine which factors were most important in predicting babies.
“While the study found that higher-density urban areas tend to have high densities, the results suggest that high-densities are more important in terms of the proportion in the population,” the authors wrote.
The authors also found that babies were more likely if their mothers lived in high density areas, while the same was not true if they lived in low use zones.
This suggests that higher density, high income areas may be more welcoming of children, and may thus be a more appropriate place to raise them.
In their study, the authors examined census and economic data for more a dozen U.S. metropolitan areas and Chinese cities between 2000 and 2014.
The data revealed that higher densities were associated with higher birth rates and fewer births to unmarried women.
Low densities tended to be associated with low birth rates.
In addition, low density also correlated with higher obesity rates.
Low density areas were more often found in high income, high wealth, and middle class areas, with high-wealth and middle-class areas also showing the greatest differences in birth rates, with low-wealth areas having lower rates.
The study found similar results in other countries.
In New Zealand, for instance, higher density was associated with lower rates of obesity and lower rates for obesity.
In Spain, high density was found to be correlated with lower birth rates to unmarried men and lower births to women in high poverty and high unemployment areas.
The researchers also looked at the differences between high and high-residence areas.
“In high-relevance areas, high denser areas have higher birth and death rates for all age groups, as well as lower rates per capita for all ethnic groups,” the study wrote.
However, higher-residency areas tended to have higher rates for each racial and ethnic group.
“It seems that, in this context, low-residentiality areas are more welcoming, which may be a better combination for babies,” the report concluded.