Immigrants' Fertility Behaviours in Italy: A Comparison between Origin and Destination Countries

Giuseppe Gabrielli, University of Naples Federico II
Roberto Impicciatore, University of Bologna
Anna Paterno, University Bari

A growing body of research is focusing on the mechanisms by which migration affects fertility behaviours, stressing the relevance of the main interpretative theories developed by international literature. Nevertheless, few analyses use multi-national longitudinal data in a comparative perspective. In this perspective, the aim of this paper is to examine the relationship between migration and fertility behaviours, comparing the reproductive models of foreign women in Italy both with the one of non-migrant in the country of origin and with the one of the native Italians.

We focus on Albanian, Moroccan and Ukrainian women that are among the most relevant immigrant groups by citizenship in Italy. Data on immigrants in Italy are collected in the “Social Condition and Integration of Foreign citizens” survey (SCIF). Data on Italian citizens are gathered in the Multipurpose survey on “Families and Social Subjects” (FSS). The behaviour of individuals in the origin countries is included through the exploitation of the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). Appling multi-process hazard models, we test if the above mentioned theories fit to the Italian case.

Our results show different fertility patterns according to parity transition and citizenship and interpretative theories fit differently to (Albanian, Ukrainian and Moroccan) migrants in Italy. The fertility behaviours in the origin countries and the different migratory models play a decisive role in explaining such differences. Broadly speaking, selection hypothesis could explain the reproductive behaviors of the migrant Ukrainian women in Italy that are mostly forerunners, educated and arrived at older ages than the other migrants. Moroccan women, with the highest fertility levels in the origin country among the observed citizen groups, mostly are tied migrants and their fertility behaviors could be explained trough the socialization and interrelation hypotheses. The most adaptive behavior is observed for Albanians in the transition to 2nd and 3rd birth.

Presented in Session 89: Fertility of Migrants