Forced Migration and Fertility in Germany

Michaela Kreyenfeld , Hertie School of Governance
Martin Bujard, Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)
Cristina Samper Mejia, Hertie School in Berlin

A large body of literature has shown that birth rates of international migrant accelerate around the time of migration. The spike in birth rates is more pronounced for first than for higher order births and it is stronger for women than for men. A conventional explanation for the strong interrelation of childbirth and migration is that international migration is often based on the legal grounds of spousal reunion. Little is known, however, how patterns differ across different migrant populations. In particular, it is unclear whether prior findings translate to the growing group of forced migrants. In this paper we use data from the microcensus to examine the birth dynamics of forced migrants in Germany and compare it to that of other recent migrants. In particular we examine whether migration leads to a postponement or an acceleration of births. Based on event history techniques, we model how birth rates develop by duration of stay in the country and how they differ across migration subgroups. We show that large differences exist between migration populations. Women who originate in conflict and war zones experience elevated first birth rates around migration similar to migrants of Turkish origin. This patterns stands in stark contrast to female migrants from Central and Eastern European countries, which make up another large migration group to Germany. Duration of stay has only a minor impact on birth dynamics of women originated in the latter region.

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 Presented in Session 117. Consequences of Armed Conflict for Childbearing