Volume 36 - Article 60 | Pages 1827-1858

Fertility among descendants of immigrants in Belgium: The role of the partner

By Lisa Van Landschoot, Helga de Valk, Jan Van Bavel

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Date received:09 Sep 2016
Date published:21 Jun 2017
Word count:9960
Keywords:Belgium, birth transition, endogamy, event history models, exogamy, immigrants, partner choice
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2017.36.60
 

Abstract

Background: Research on the fertility behavior of descendants of immigrants has focused on female characteristics and has largely neglected those of the male partner. One key aspect is whether the partner is of same (endogamous) or of different (exogamous) ethnic origin. Moreover, the male partner may be born in the same country as the female partner, or he may have migrated to that country later in the life course. Consequently, both his ethnic origin and migration history may affect the fertility behavior of second-generation women.

Objective: This study analyzes to what extent second and higher order births of second-generation women of Southern European, Turkish, or Moroccan origin in Belgium differ by the ethnic origin and migration history of the male partner.

Methods: We apply event history methods using the 2001 Belgian Census, linked with the 2006 Belgian National Population Register.

Results: Women of Turkish and Moroccan origin in an endogamous union experience higher second and subsequent birth rates than their counterparts in an exogamous union. However, no variation is found within the endogamous unions: Whether or not the endogamous partner has been born in the country of origin does not seem to affect second and higher order birth rates. For women of Southern European origin, second and higher order birth rates do not differ by origin and generation of their partner.

Contribution: This study extends the literature on the fertility behavior of the descendants of immigrants by demonstrating the importance of male partner characteristics in explaining the transition to a second or a higher order birth.

Author's Affiliation

Lisa Van Landschoot - Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium [Email]
Helga de Valk - Nederlands Interdisciplinair Demografisch Instituut (NIDI), Netherlands [Email]
Jan Van Bavel - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium [Email]

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» Ethnic differences in family trajectories of young adult women in the Netherlands: Timing and sequencing of events
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» The timing of family commitments in the early work career: Work-family trajectories of young adults in Flanders
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» The mid-twentieth century Baby Boom and the changing educational gradient in Belgian cohort fertility
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» Estimating the contribution of mothers of foreign origin to total fertility: The recent recovery of period fertility in the Belgian region of Flanders
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» Regional family cultures and child care by grandparents in Europe
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» Social mobility and demographic behaviour: Long term perspectives
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» Family size and intergenerational social mobility during the fertility transition: Evidence of resource dilution from the city of Antwerp in nineteenth century Belgium
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» Timing of first union among second-generation Turks in Europe: The role of parents, peers and institutional context
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» The Netherlands: Childbearing within the context of a "Poldermodel" society
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