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Overview Chapter 7: The rising importance of migrants for childbearing in Europe

  • Tomas Sobotka

    (Vienna Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences)

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    This contribution looks at the influence of immigration on childbearing trends in the countries of Western, Northern and Southern Europe, which have received relatively large numbers of immigrants during the last decades. It analyses the contribution of migrants to the total number of births and compares fertility rates of migrant women with the fertility rates of native women, pointing out huge diversity between migrant groups. It also discusses the evidence regarding the progressive ‘assimilation’ in migrants’ fertility to the local fertility patterns and analyses the net impact of migrants on period fertility rates. This review reveals that migrant women typically retain substantially higher levels of period fertility than the ‘native’ populations, but this difference typically diminishes over time and with the duration of their stay in a country. Immigrants contribute substantially to the total number of births and their share of total births has increased in the last decade, exceeding in some countries one fifth of the recorded live births. However, the ‘net effect’ of the higher fertility of migrants on the period total fertility of particular countries remains relatively small, typically between 0.05 and 0.10 in absolute terms.

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    File URL: http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol19/9/19-9.pdf
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    Article provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its journal Demographic Research.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 9 (July)
    Pages: 225-248

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    Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:19:y:2008:i:9
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    1. Tito Boeri & Herbert Brücker, 2005. "Why are Europeans so tough on migrants?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 629-703, October.
    2. Nadja Milewski, 2007. "First child of immigrant workers and their descendants in West Germany," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 17(29), pages 859-896, December.
    3. Tineke Fokkema & Helga A.G. Valk & Joop A.A. Beer & Coen van Duin, 2008. "The Netherlands: Childbearing within the context of a "Poldermodel" society," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(21), pages 743-794, July.
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