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Residential segregation and the fertility of immigrants and their descendants

Wilson, Ben and Kuha, Jouni ORCID: 0000-0002-1156-8465 (2018) Residential segregation and the fertility of immigrants and their descendants. Population, Space and Place, 24 (3). ISSN 1544-8444

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Identification Number: 10.1002/psp.2098


Measures of community population composition, like residential segregation, are important theoretical mechanisms that have the potential to explain differences in fertility between immigrants, their descendants, and destination natives. However, only a handful of studies explore these mechanisms, and most are limited by the fact that they carry out cross-sectional analysis. This study proposes a new approach, which focuses on community composition in childhood. It uses longitudinal census data and registered births in England and Wales to investigate the relationship between completed fertility and multiple measures of community composition, including residential segregation. The results show that the fertility of immigrants is closer to native fertility if they grow up in less segregated areas. This provides evidence in support of the childhood socialisation hypothesis. Furthermore, residential segregation explains some of the variation in completed fertility for second generation women from Pakistan and Bangladesh, the only second generation group to have significantly higher completed fertility than natives. This suggests one reason why the fertility of some South Asians in England and Wales may remain ‘culturally entrenched’. All of these findings are consistent for different measures of community composition. They are also easier to interpret than the results of previous research because exposure is measured before childbearing has commenced, therefore avoiding many issues relating to selection, simultaneity and conditioning on the future.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors © CC BY 4.0
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2017 14:17
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 03:07
Projects: 1014032
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council

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