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Age at Migration, Language and Fertility Patterns among Migrants to Canada

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Author Info

  • Adsera, Alicia

    ()
    (Princeton University)

  • Ferrer, Ana

    ()
    (University of Waterloo)

Abstract

This paper explores the fertility decisions of Canadian immigrants using a 20 percent sample of the Canadian Census of Population for the years 1991 through 2006. We focus on those individuals that migrated as children and on their age at arrival to assess their process of assimilation in terms of fertility. Our analysis does not show any sharp discontinuity in fertility by age at migration as sometimes observed on education or labor market outcomes. Instead, there is an inverted U shape relationship between age of migration and immigrant fertility, with those migrating in their late teens having the highest fertility rates when compared to natives. This pattern appears among migrants from all origins – although their fertility levels differ. Results suggests that language acquisition is not a key mechanism through which age at immigration affects fertility – fertility behavior of immigrants with an official mother tongue also differs from that of natives. Rather fertility assimilation seems to be associated with education decisions. College graduates arriving to Canada anytime before adulthood behave as their native peers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5552.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Factors influencing the fertility choices of child immigrants in Canada' in: Population Studies, 2013, [Online First]
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5552

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Keywords: fertility; migration; age at migration; language;

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  1. Timothy Guinnane & Carolyn Moehling & Cormac O Grada, 2002. "The Fertility of the Irish in America in 1910," Working Papers 848, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  2. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri, 2003. "Language proficiency and labour market performance of immigrants in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 695-717, 07.
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Cited by:
  1. Stichnoth, Holger & Yeter, Mustafa, 2013. "Cultural influences on the fertility behaviour of first- and second-generation immigrants in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-023, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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