Volume 19 - Article 9 | Pages 225–248

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

By Tomáš Sobotka

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Date received:18 Sep 2007
Date published:01 Jul 2008
Word count:6108
Keywords:childbearing, Europe, fertility, migration
Weblink:You will find all publications in this Special Collection “Childbearing Trends and Policies in Europe” at http://www.demographic-research.org/special/7/


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.

Author's Affiliation

Tomáš Sobotka - Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Austria [Email]

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» Summary and general conclusions: Childbearing Trends and Policies in Europe
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» Tempo-quantum and period-cohort interplay in fertility changes in Europe: Evidence from the Czech Republic, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden
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