Volume 10 - Article 4 | Pages 83–120

Fertility behaviour of recent immigrants to Israel: A comparative analysis of immigrants from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union

By Petra Nahmias

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Date received:09 Oct 2002
Date published:17 Mar 2004
Word count:8412
Keywords:abortion, contraceptive use, Ethiopia, fertility, Israel, Jews, marriage, migration, Soviet Union


The fertility practices of immigrants are a particularly interesting field of study for demographers, providing an insight into the fertility behaviour of individuals when both the society and the individual undergo a period of rapid change. This paper describes and compares the fertility behaviour of two large groups of immigrants, from the former Soviet Union (FSU) and from Ethiopia to Israel in the last 20 years. The changes in fertility behaviour undergone in the same society and at the same time by two very different groups are examined.
The findings reveal that the fertility behaviour of immigrants is indeed changing. The fertility of FSU immigrants is increasing and that of the Ethiopian immigrants decreasing, with accompanying changes in the proximate determinants of fertility. Although the fertility of immigrants is becoming more similar to that of the receiving society, the methods employed to achieve the fertility change are not necessarily similar, and, in some cases, diverge from the norms of the receiving society.

Author's Affiliation

Petra Nahmias - Princeton University, United States of America [Email]

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