Fertility patterns of recent immigrants to the UK

Lorraine Waller, University of Southampton
Ann M. Berrington, University of Southampton
James Raymer, University of Southampton

Existing studies of the relationships between migration and fertility have led to the proposal of key hypotheses for migrant fertility patterns. These include disruption, socialisation, assimilation and selection. These hypotheses are used here to study the fertility of the foreign-born population in the UK, for individuals arriving between 2001-2008. During this time, UK fertility started to increase from its relatively low levels in 2001 (TFR 1.63); the proportions of births to foreign-born mothers increased from 14% in 1998 to 24% in 2008; and international migration flows have changed in composition, following accession of A8 countries to the EU in 2004. Own-children method estimation is used to construct fertility estimates for those aged 15-49 years, from pooled UK Labour Force Survey data. Estimates are produced by country of birth for individuals from key immigrant groups, with differing demographic origins. These are analysed with reference to duration of residence to assess short- and longer-term patterns following arrival. Finally, the estimates are compared with those for non-migrants to assess which hypotheses of migrant fertility are most relevant in the UK context.

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Presented in Session 96: Fertility of immigrants

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