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Forced migration and the childbearing of women and men: a disruption of the tempo and quantum of fertility?

Saarela, Jan and Wilson, Ben (2022) Forced migration and the childbearing of women and men: a disruption of the tempo and quantum of fertility? Demography, 59 (2). 707 - 729. ISSN 1533-7790

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Identification Number: 10.1215/00703370-9828869


It is well known that migrant fertility is associated with age at migration, but little is known about this relationship for forced migrants. We study an example of displacement in which the entire population of Finnish Karelia was forced to move elsewhere in Finland in the 1940s. This displacement was unique because of its size and scale, because we have data on almost the whole population of both men and women who moved, and because of the similarity between origin and destination. These aspects enable us to investigate the disruptive impact of forced migration, net of other factors such as adaptation and selection. For all ages at migration from one to 20, female forced migrants had lower levels of completed fertility than similar women born in present-day Finland, which suggests a permanent impact of migration. However, women born in the same year as the initial forced migration showed no difference, which may indicate the presence of a counterbalancing fertility-increasing effect, as observed elsewhere for people born during a humanitarian crisis. There is less evidence of an impact for men, which suggests a gendered impact of forced migration-and its timing-on fertility. Results are similar after controlling for social and spatial mobility, indicating that there may be no major trade-off between reproduction and these forms of mobility.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2022 10:15
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2024 22:33

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