Religion, immigration, and fertility in France

Julia Behrman, University of Oxford
Jeylan Erman, University of Pennsylvania
Elisabeth Becker, Yale

In contemporary Europe, the debate over migration and fertility has been polarized given low native-born fertility, high levels of Muslim migration, and contention over European identity. We deepen understandings of the linkages between religion and fertility in France using data from the French Trajectories and Origins (TeO) survey. Conducting a Cox- proportional hazards analysis, we find Muslim women have significantly higher expected hazards of first, second, and third births than Christian women, women with no religion, and women of other religions, net of controls for immigration status and socio-economic characteristics; however, most of these associations become null upon controlling for religiosity and ideal family size. Muslim women on average have higher religiosity and higher ideal family sizes, which suggests that these socio-cultural factors, rather than religion itself are associated with higher fertility.

Presented in Session 1167: Fertility