Fertility among immigrant women : new data, a new approach


Laurent Toulemon

Population and Societies

N°400, April 2004, n° ISSN 0184 77 83

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Abstract (click on +)

The contribution made by migration to French population dynamics is not confined to arrivals: immigrants have children after they arrive in France. These children by definition do not appear in the net migration count, but in the rate of natural increase [1]. How do we account for them in estimating the share of the French birth rate due to immigration? There are three ways of doing so, corresponding to three distinct questions. First, what is the proportion of children born in France to at least one immigrant parent? Second, how does immigrant fertility compare with that of the countries of origin and destination? Third, what would be the level of fertility in France without immigration?
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Fertility among immigrant women: new data, a new approach

  • One in eight births is to an immigrant mother
  • Half of children born to immigrants are of mixed descent
  • The conventional picture of immigrant fertility: 2.5 children per woman in 1991-1998
  • Fewer children than native-born French before entry, more after
  • A new immigrant total fertility rate: 2.16 children per woman
  • Narrow gaps between countries of origin