Female immigration and fertility behavior

Eleonora Mussino, Università di Roma

In accordance with the last estimations, the Italian Total Fertility Rate in 2006 was about 1.35 children per woman; but if we consider separately the Italian and the foreign women, we find different values: respectively 1.24 and 2.41 in 2005. Besides Italy is characterized, over time, by feminisation process of migrants and an increasing of rejoining family permits. In according with this introduction this study has two main goals: first, to give a view of the demographic characteristics of immigrants in Italy, with particular attention to the females; second, to analyze the different fertility contexts and typologies of immigrant mothers. The paper emphasizes the socio demographic characteristics that differentiate migrant and native-born mothers with a special attention to the parity, the life cycle and the economic status. For the first part we use the official sources and for the second one data examined are Birth Sample Survey conducted in 2005; the dataset is extracted from Population Registers between the births of 2003 and represents about 10% of the total resident births registered in that period. After an exploratory and descriptive view, the aim of this study is to perform a multivariate analysis (factor and cluster analysis) to individualize the typologies of the foreign mothers referring to their socio demographic behaviours. That is, we want to use these multivariate techniques to organize the sample in homogeneous groups using the variables and the indicators that, following our hypothesis, most represent the context of reproduction. We summarize the variable space in five dimensions and using these as new indicators we represent the individuals in six groups. The main questions are if the demographic indicators can help us to establish the fertility model of immigrants in Italy and if the sample survey can help us to solve the problem or explain better the pattern.

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Presented in Session 46: Fertility of Immigrants and Foreigners