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Frequency of Twin Births in Developed Countries

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2012

Gilles Pison*
Affiliation:
Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques, Paris, France. pison@ined.fr
Agata V. D'Addato
Affiliation:
Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques, Paris, France; Department for the Study of Mediterranean Societies, University of Bari, Italy.
*
*Address for correspondence: Gilles Pison, Institut national d'études démographiques, 133 Boulevard Davout, 75980 Paris cedex 20, France.

Abstract

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Twinning rates in developed countries have recently registered an increase. At the end of the 1970s, the change in mother's age structure has partially contributed to the growth in the proportion of multiple births. In fact, the evolution of twinning rates is related to the calendar of maternity since, comparatively to younger mothers, older women more frequently have twins. Moreover, the growing frequency of multiple births also depends on fertility treatments, which are largely used in the developed countries. National data from the civil birth registration systems are taken into account in order to describe, in a comparative study, the main trends of twinning rates in the 20th century.

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