CeLSIUS

Estimating the fertility of migrants to England and Wales using the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study

James Robards and Andrew Hinde, University of Southampton

(Project no. 0301060, previously 30106)

Since 2001, there has been a consistent year-on-year increase in the period total fertility rate for England and Wales. At the same time migration to England and Wales has accelerated from the late 1990s. It is possible that the large number of migrants of childbearing ages moving to England and Wales, larger family size norms among foreign born women and a birth timing effect among recent migrants to England and Wales have led to the increase in the total fertility rate. However, the relative influence of any timing effect among recent migrants on the total fertility rate is not known. Research on migrant fertility in France (Toulemon, 2004) and Sweden (Andersson, 2004) has identified elevated fertility among migrants in the time period immediately after the migration event. Conversely, research in England and Wales has focused on period measures of fertility rather than estimating whether there is an elevated level of fertility among the large number of recent migrants to England and Wales. The first aim of this thesis is to accurately account for non-continually resident members of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Longitudinal Study (LS) between census dates and use these LS members in fertility analysis. The second aim of this thesis is to investigate whether migrants to England and Wales show an elevated level of fertility after migration. It is only possible to estimate the fertility of recent migrants provided the sample exposed to risk of giving birth can be identified.

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