Fertility of Mexican immigrant women in the US: A closer look

Authors
Citation
M. Carter, Fertility of Mexican immigrant women in the US: A closer look, SOC SCI Q, 81(4), 2000, pp. 1073-1086
Citations number
16
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Sociology & Antropology
Journal title
SOCIAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY
ISSN journal
0038-4941 → ACNP
Volume
81
Issue
4
Year of publication
2000
Pages
1073 - 1086
Database
ISI
SICI code
0038-4941(200012)81:4<1073:FOMIWI>2.0.ZU;2-V
Abstract
Objective. The purpose of this paper is to examine how Mexican immigrants' fertility relates to duration of residence in the U.S. and compares to U.S. -born women of Mexican origin. I specifically look for evidence of selectiv ity, disruption, and assimilation effects. Methods. Using the birth and lif e histories available from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth, I pre sent descriptive statistics of the two groups, compare their age-specific f ertility rates, and analyze women's transitions to first, second, and third births using proportional hazard methods, with a focus on the effects of f ive categories of durations of stay in the U.S. (premigration, 0-2 years, 2 -7 years, 7-15 years, and 15+). Results. The results lend evidence to all m ajor hypotheses of immigrant fertility. Mexican immigrant women seem select ive at the time of migration in ways likely to affect the relationship betw een immigration and fertility. The hypothesis that women's fertility is dep ressed in the years immediately following migration receives some support, particularly among women in the transition to a third birth. The evidence a lso lends support to an assimilation perspective, though again important ex ceptions emerge. Assimilation effects appear in the transitions to first an d second births but weakly in the analysis of the third birth, and there is limited evidence of possible "downward" fertility assimilation among adole scent immigrants. Conclusions. This analysis highlights how the major persp ectives on immigrant fertility are not mutually exclusive and indicates tha t for Mexican immigrants, women's parity conditions the way immigration and fertility interact.