The Role of Domestic Migration on Fertility Rates in the Global South

Andrés Castro , Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Mathias Lerch, Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Demographers have largely noticed how period measures of fertility can be biased due to tempo confounders. These insights have well-served research on international migrants’ fertility. That has not been the case for internal migration flows. This disproportional attention is unfortunate, given the critical role of internal migrants for demographic change across developing regions. We rely on multiple Demographic and Health Surveys for 68 low and middle-income countries to provide the first comparative and most consistent study of the contribution of internal migrants to urban fertility, notably by using measures that correct the migration-related tempo distortions on fertility measurement. Our results suggest that the interlinkage between migration and fertility leads to a significant overestimation of the fertility of migrants in urban areas. This overestimation varies substantially across world regions, being more significant among countries in Asia, the Middle-East and North Africa and the Former USSR. The overestimation is minor among Latin American, Caribbean and Sub-Saharan African countries.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session Fertility, Family and the Life Course