Family Trajectories among Immigrants and Their Descendants in Three European Countries

Hill Kulu, University of St Andrews
Julia Mikolai, University of St Andrews
Isaure Delaporte, University of St Andrews
Chia Liu, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Brad Campbell, Queen's University
Gunnar Andersson, Stockholm University

This study investigates partnership changes and childbearing among immigrants and their descendants in the UK, France and Germany born between 1950 and 1994. We focus on two critical stages of individuals’ family life course: first, pathways to family formation, and second, the evolution of individuals’ family lives once they are in a union and have a child. We apply a series of competing-risks Poisson regression models to combined longitudinal data from the four countries. Our preliminary analysis of pathways to family formation shows significant diversity among immigrants and their descendants in Europe. European immigrants in France and Germany show family patterns similar to those of the native populations: many of them cohabit prior to marriage; some experience dissolution of their first unions; some have a birth outside of a union. In contrast, South Asians in the UK and the Turkish population in France and Germany exhibit conservative family behaviour: they have high marriage rates and low separation levels; childbearing outside of marriage is uncommon. These findings suggest that cultural and normative factors shape family behaviour of immigrants and their descendants, and that some patterns may persist over migrant generations.

Keywords: Family demography, Migrant populations, Longitudinal studies, Cross-country comparative analyses

See paper.

  Presented in Session 185. Family Transitions in Longitudinal Perspective