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Immigrant mothers, Spanish babies: longing for a baby-boom in a lowest-low fertility society

Marta Roig, United Nations
Teresa Castro, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

In the last twenty years, Spain has become a country of immigration. It hosted more than 2.5 million foreigners in January 2003, up from 200,000 in 1981. Since Spain is also one of the countries with the lowest fertility rates in the world (below 1.3 since 1995), the potential impact of immigration on the demographic future of the country is the focus of increasing attention. Yet studies of the fertility patterns of immigrants are still scarce. This paper examines the interplay between immigration and fertility in Spain, taking into account the heterogeneous composition of the immigrant population. In particular, it aims at assessing the influence of length of residence and national origin on the reproductive behaviour of immigrants. In order to explore potential disadvantages faced by certain groups, we will also compare the proportion of adolescent births, low weight births and non-marital births without paternal recognition among immigrants and nationals.

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Presented in Session 66: Demographic effects of international migration on receiving countries