Germany: 2nd generation immigrants matching German fertility patterns

Germany: 2nd generation immigrants matching German fertility patterns

Via the Local:

Second generation immigrants in Germany are having fewer babies than their parents, a new study has revealed, denting the widely-held belief that migrant communities could be the nation’s fertility engines.

The study, “Fertility of Immigrants: A Two-Generational Approach in Germany”, found that children born in Germany to immigrant parents barely have more children than native Germans, daily Die Welt reported Wednesday.

“Women of the second generation have nearly matched German women in their fertility patterns,” said study author Nadja Milewski from the University of Rostock.

This is despite the fact that they get married on average two years younger than native Germans and become mothers correspondingly earlier.

Milewski’s finding appears to be a further blow to Germany’s demographic prospects, which are considered to be bleak because of the country’s low birthrate. It also tears apart the anti-immigration thesis that native Germans will eventually be a minority in the country.



The figures in the Local article are a bit inexact. The data below is from the original Die Welt article.

The study looked at 5,000 women in West Germany in the years 1984-2004, both Germans and first and second generation immigrants from south and southeastern Europe.

By age 35, 18.5% of German women had three or more children, compared to 15% for 2nd generation Greeks and 15.4% for 2nd generation women from former Yugoslavia. In fact, the latter were more likely to be childless than German women (23.1% for 2nd generation Yugoslavians vs. 17.9% for Germans)

Italian and Turkish 2nd generation immigrants were the only ones more likely than Germans to have three or more children by age 35 (33.% of Italians and 34.2% of Turks), but this was still a significant drop compared to the first generation (43.6% of Italians, 58.8% of Turks).

While first-generation immigrants who came to Germany without any children were 2.5 times more likely than Germans to have a child, the second generation were only 1.2 more likely to do so.

Taking into account socio-economic factors - immigrants are on average poorer and the lower class Germans are also more likely to have more children at an earlier age - and you find that by the second generation, the women's background is almost irrelevant to fertility.

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