Visualising Immigrant Fertility

Marianne Tønnessen , Statistics Norway
Ben Wilson, Stockholm University

There are different measures of fertility, such as the period total fertility rate, cohort completed fertility or measures of parity transitions. Each of these has strengths and limitations when used to describe immigrant fertility, and no single measure captures every aspect of this complex phenomenon. This paper introduces a novel visual framework that shows life course profiles of immigrant childbearing in a multifaceted way. It develops the well-known cohort fertility curve – showing the average number of children ever born over the life course – and adds lines for immigrant women arriving at different ages, using their average number of children born on arrival as a starting point. These immigrant fertility profiles can illustrate a number of important aspects of childbearing simultaneously, including children born before arrival, fertility after arrival, and completed fertility at the end of childbearing. In addition to showing numbers of children born (i.e. fertility quantum), the slopes of each profile indicate the tempo of fertility and how this changes by age and duration of residence. The fertility profiles of different immigrant groups can be plotted in the same graph, and can be compared and contrasted with non-immigrant groups – at origin and destination – through the augmentation of each visualisation. Using Nordic register data, we illustrate how these fertility profiles can be used to expand our knowledge of immigrant childbearing and to investigate various hypotheses of migrant fertility, giving a novel overview of relationships between fertility measures such as period and quantum, before and after arrival.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy