Entry into motherhood and completed fertility of second generation immigrants in France

Ariane Pailhé, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Amélie Charruault, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Christelle Hamel, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

While fertility behaviors have been extensively examined for first generation immigrants in France, much less attention has been paid to the second generation. This paper studies the transmission of first-generation immigrants’ fertility behavior to second-generation women and men. Based on the idea that fertility is an important component of the integration of immigrants (and second generation immigrants) into their host society, the main question answered is twofold: first, to what extent the children of immigrants have assimilated to host-country norms in terms of age at entrance into motherhood and completed fertility, second, to what extent are observed differences due to structural determinants (such as their belonging to disadvantaged social milieu or their lower level of education). To what extend the descendant relatives of immigrants, who are born and socialized in metropolitan France, reproduce their parents’ fertility behavior, or that of the mainstream population, once taking into account their social background? To answer this question the article analyses both the timing of first childbearing and the fertility reached at age 40 among different groups: descendents of North African immigrants, descendents of southern European immigrants, descendents of UE immigrants and mainstream population, i.e. French-born with French parents. As these children of immigrants are coming of age, it is now possible to compare their completed fertility with those of French natives. Our research design uses the Trajectories and Origins survey, a survey on population diversity in France conducted in 2008 on a sample of 22,000 persons aged 18-60 and living in metropolitan France. First results show that fertility varies by immigrant generation, with significant declines between the first and subsequent generations: childbearing behaviors of second generation immigrants are much closer than that of French natives.

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Presented in Session 27: Immigrant fertility II

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