Fertility among the descendants of immigrants: the analysis of longitudinal data from eight European countries

Hill Kulu, University of Liverpool
Tina Hannemann, University of Liverpool
Ariane Pailhé, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Karel Neels, Universiteit Antwerpen
Leen Rahnu, Tallinn University
Allan Puur, Estonian Interuniversity Population Research Centre
Sandra Krapf, University of Cologne
Amparo Gonzalez-Ferrer, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
Teresa Castro Martin, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
Elisabeth K. Kraus, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Laura Bernardi, Université de Lausanne
Eder Andrés Guarin Rojas, Université de Lausanne
Gunnar Andersson, Stockholm University
Lotta Persson, Statistics Sweden

This study investigates the childbearing patterns of the descendants of immigrants in selected European countries, with a focus on ethnic minority women whose parents arrived in Europe from high-fertility countries. While the fertility levels of immigrants to Europe have been examined in the recent literature, the childbearing patterns among their descendants have received little attention. Using longitudinal data from eight European countries and applying Poisson regression models, the study shows that many descendants of immigrants exhibit first-birth levels that are similar to the ‘native’ population in their respective countries; however, first-birth levels are elevated among women of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin in the UK and for those of Turkish descent in France and Belgium. Transition rates to a second child vary less across ethnic groups. Most ethnic minority women in the UK, France and Belgium show significantly higher third-birth levels than ‘natives’ in those countries. The inclusion of women’s level of education in the analysis has little effect on fertility differences across the ethnic groups. Overall, the childbearing behaviour of the descendants of immigrants falls in between the fertility pathways experienced by their parents’ generation and the respective ‘native’ populations. The analysis supports the idea that both the mainstream society and the minority subculture shape the childbearing patterns of the descendants of immigrants in Europe.

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 Presented in Session 51. European fertility