Migrant Fertility in Germany in Times of the Eastern Enlargement of the EU

Michaela Kreyenfeld, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin
Katharina Wolf, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

In our study we use data from the Migrant Samples of the German Socio-Economic Panel to examine the fertility dynamics of women who have come to Germany between 1990 and 2015. In particular, we shed light on the behaviour of migrants from Central and Eastern European countries (CEE) by comparing their birth patterns to that of migrants who are originated in other European countries or Africa and the Middle East. By applying event-history methods, we explore whether differences in first, second and third birth rates can be attributed to the socio-demographic composition of the migrant populations, in particular to education and religious affiliation. For CEE-migrants we furthermore analyse how patterns differ depending on whether they migrated as an EU-migrant. We find significant fertility differentials between CEE-migrants who moved before and after the accession to the EU. Thus, fertility behaviour is strongly connected with the legal context of migration. CEE-migrants who moved to Germany after their countries of origin became EU-members and were granted the rights of free movement display strongly reduced first birth rates compared with those who migrated as third country nationals. These differences remain after controlling for the socio-demographic particularities of EU-migrants. It is furthermore found that CEE-migrants encounter very low second birth rates, if compared to other migrant populations. This finding aligns with the fertility patterns that prevail in the countries of origin of CEE-migrants.

Presented in Session 89: Fertility of Migrants