Volume 41 - Article 1 | Pages 1–36

On the multifaceted impact of migration on the fertility of receiving countries: Methodological insights and contemporary evidence for Europe, the United States, and Australia

By Christos Bagavos

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Date received:17 Sep 2018
Date published:02 Jul 2019
Word count:9156
Keywords:Europe, fertility, immigration, standardization, United States


Background: Within the context of increasing migration flows and persisting low fertility rates in more developed areas, focus has been placed on the impact of migration on the fertility of receiving countries.

Objective: The paper examines the effect of migration on the fertility of selected European countries, the United States, and Australia for the 2009–2015 period.

Methods: We provide methodological insights and evidence derived from comparisons of estimates of age-specific fertility rates (ASFRs) and total fertility rates (TFRs) of native-born or foreign-born women, or female citizens or noncitizens.

Results: The results show that although the United States and Australia are seen as model countries of migration, the contribution of migrants to the levels and trends in the TFR and in the total number of births in these countries seems to be less significant than in some European countries. Our results also show that differences in the overall TFRs of the United States and selected European countries are driven more by the differences in the TFRs of native-born women than by the net effect of migration.

Conclusions: Our study suggests that the impact of migration on fertility is a multifaceted issue, going far beyond the commonly used net effect of migration on increases in a country’s TFR.

Contribution: The topics tackled in the paper are potentially interesting and under-researched in particular in the context of the recent increase in immigration flows and the persisting low fertility in Europe and the USA.

Author's Affiliation

Christos Bagavos - Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Greece [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» The compositional effects of education and employment on Greek male and female fertility rates during 2000‒2014
Volume 36 - Article 47

» Male fertility in Greece: Trends and differentials by education level and employment status
Volume 31 - Article 6

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