Immigration to the UK from High-Fertility Countries: Intergenerational Adaptation and Fertility Convergence



The fertility of immigrants' children increasingly shapes the ethnic diversity of the population in Western Europe. However, few data are available on the fertility patterns of immigrants and their offspring. This article provides new fertility estimates of immigrants and immigrants' children by ethnic group in the United Kingdom that may provide better-informed fertility assumptions for future population projection models. The impact of migration-specific tempo effects on the period TFR of immigrants is analyzed. Among the results, intergenerational fertility transitions strongly contribute both to fertility convergence between ethnic groups and to fertility “assimilation” or “intergenerational adaptation” to the UK mainstream childbearing behavior. Ethnic fertility convergence, particularly marked for populations originating from high-fertility countries, reflects in part decreasing fertility in sending countries and in part intergenerational adaptation to the UK mainstream. Higher educational enrollment of the daughters of immigrants may partly explain their relatively lower fertility.