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Visualising immigrant fertility: profiles of childbearing and their implications for immigration research

Tønnessen, Marianne and Wilson, Ben (2023) Visualising immigrant fertility: profiles of childbearing and their implications for immigration research. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 24 (SUPPL 1). 23 - 46. ISSN 1488-3473

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s12134-020-00762-5


Different measures of fertility have strengths and limitations when used to describe the fertility of immigrants, 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 as well as 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 the relationships between fertility measures such as period and quantum, before and after arrival.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors, corrected publication 2020
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 04 May 2023 13:18
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2023 23:51

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