Is the United States a Pro-Natalist Destination? A New Look at the Recent Fertility of American Immigrants

Gray Swicegood, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Michael Sobczak, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Hiromi Ishizawa, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Gillian Stevens, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Eileen Diaz McConnell, Indiana University

The fertility dynamics of foreign-born women impact overall population growth and the racial, ethnic, linguistic, and generational composition of the country. Here we consider the patterns of recent fertility among immigrant women along the dimensions of national origin, education, geographic settlement, linguistic behavior, and the presence of grandparents using data from the Census 2000 Supplemental Survey. We estimate a total fertility rate among foreign-born women that is nearly 40% higher than that of native-born women, but also observe a wide array of period fertility rates across national origins subgroups. Differences observed across national origin groups are scarcely attenuated by standard social and demographic control variables. The processes associated with the marital and non-marital fertility of immigrant women are distinct. Our results point to the value of adopting a more life-course oriented approach with greater attention to the context of pathways to marriage and motherhood alike.

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Presented in Session 117: Transition to Motherhood