Community Characteristics and the Fertility of Refugees in Norway

Alicia Adsera, Princeton University
Marianne Tønnessen, Statistics Norway
Synøve N. Andersen , Statistics Norway

The study of the fertility of immigrants has received much attention during the last years, particularly in societies with fertility rates below replacement. However, that of refugee populations is understudied, mostly due to poor data and small samples. Refugees coming to Norway are assigned by a government agency to a municipality where they start their integration into the Norwegian society. Using rich register data, we study how their fertility in the years following settlement (both in timing and total number of children) is related to the characteristics of the municipality to which they are assigned and how the role of local conditions varies by education. In particular, we focus, first, on the demographic structure of the municipality (shares of elderly and fertility); second on size of ethnic enclaves and third, on municipality size, population density and housing structure. Preliminary results show that the municipality fertility rate and the share of non-western migrants (particularly for the least educated) positively impacts the likelihood of having a child five years after arrival in Norway.

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 Presented in Session 6. Fertility at times of crisis: from economic recession to climate change