Effects of migration on fertility patterns for non-native women in Spain

Daniel Devolder, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED)
Xiana Bueno, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED)

The aim of this study is to explore the effects of migration on fertility for foreign-born women living in Catalonia (Spain) in 2007. A common shortcoming when studying migrant’s fertility is the lack of information about childbearing patterns in the country of origin. One of the features that make this research particularly relevant is the opportunity of consider the whole reproductive life of migrants, i.e. before and after their arrival to the destination country. Data come from the Catalan Demographic Survey of 2007, a retrospective survey with complete union and childbearing histories, for both native and foreign-born women. We analyse this dataset using three kinds of methods. First, we compute age-specific fertility rates by age at arrival of women. Secondly, we estimate the risk of birth at each duration of stay of the migrants in order to identify the possible effects the migration movement may have on fertility patterns, both before and after the moment of arrival. Thirdly, we use logistic regression models for the risk of having a birth during the two main periods for which these effects occurs: a few years before or immediately after migration. These regression models allow us to explore the importance of some socio-demographic determinants, which may help in explaining the general effects on fertility patterns observed in the second step. Results show the existence of general patterns: there is an interruption effect on childbearing in the few years just before migration; then a significant recovery of fertility immediately after arrival into Spain; and a more extended effect of adaptation to native’s behaviour after some years of stay. We also observe that the above mentioned effects varies depending of the continent of origin, the age at arrival, migrant’s motivation, birth order, or the union status at time of migration.

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Presented in Session 27: Immigrant fertility II