Fertility among Immigrant Women in France: New Data, a New Approach
Laurent Toulemon, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
The comparison between fertility of immigrants and “natives” is often based on the total fertility rate (TFR). But migration marks an important change in family and fertility behavior. Though immigrants’ fertility before migration is low, migration is often linked with union formation, and fertility rates just after immigration are very high. The TFR does not take this discontinuity into account, and thus overestimates lifetime fertility of immigrants. Using a one-percent survey, part of the French 1999 Census, we first present fertility of men and women by age and duration since migration. We then propose a new method of estimating total fertility, taking fertility both before and after migration into account. Using this method, the estimated excess fertility of immigrants compared with women born in France is 0.46 children per women during the 1990s (2.16 vs. 1.70), while the usual TFR leads to an apparent difference of 0.85.