The contribution of mothers of foreign nationality to the recent recovery of period fertility in Flanders (Belgium)

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)

    Abstract

    Period total fertility has been recovering in Europe since the early 21st century. Two main explanations have been given for this: the end of the postponement transition and the contribution of migrant populations to the birth rate. This paper focusses on the latter and investigates to what extent mothers of foreign descent contributed to the recent recovery of period fertility in Flanders (Belgium). We use data from the Flemish Family and Child Care Agency for calculating fertility rates for different nationality groups. We furthermore propose a method to indirectly assess the impact of births to foreign women on age-specific and total fertility in a context where this information is not available. Our results indicate that, first, total fertility in Flanders would have been about one tenth of a child lower without women of foreign nationality. Second, using the estimation method, we find that period fertility would also have recovered if naturalized women would not have given birth. Third, findings show that naturalized women had a growing weight in the numerators of the fertility rates (from less than 4% to over 6%), while the relative weight of births to the native Belgian population declined (from 84% to 80%). Still, the recent recovery is mainly due to the increase of the fertility of women over 30 years old and to a small extent to a slowing down of postponement among the native Belgian population.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPaper presented at the European Population Conference
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2012
    EventEuropean Population Conference 2012 - Stockholm, Sweden
    Duration: 13 Jun 201216 Jun 2012

    Conference

    ConferenceEuropean Population Conference 2012
    Abbreviated titleEPC 2012
    Country/TerritorySweden
    CityStockholm
    Period13/06/1216/06/12
    OtherGender, Politics and Population

    Keywords

    • period fertility
    • mothers of foreign descent

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