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Immigration and Fertility: A Comparative Analysis of Alberta and Canada Open Access


Other title
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Islam, Md Kamrul
Supervisor and department
Frank Trovato, Sociology
Examining committee member and department
Herbert Northcott, Sociology
Denise Young, Economics
Gillian Stevens, Sociology
Zheng Wu, External University of Victoria
Department of Sociology

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The differences in fertility between first-generation immigrants and the native-born second and third generations have become an important marker of the extent to which immigrants become assimilated into a host society. Demographic research shows that first-generation immigrants have lower fertility than the native-born. In this dissertation, my main purpose was to investigate whether or not the fertility of first-generation immigrant women (including two sub-groups of first-generation immigrants: child immigrant women and adult immigrant women) and second-generation women differs from that of third-generation women in Alberta and Canada. Fertility here refers to the progression to parity-specific fertility (up to the third birth) and cumulative fertility. I examined the fertility differentials through the application of event history analysis, OLS regression estimates, and decomposition analysis, utilizing data from the 2010 Alberta Fertility Survey (AFS) and the 2006 General Social Survey (GSS) of Canada. I found that first-generation immigrant women in general and adult immigrant women in particular had a lower progression to first and second births and a lower cumulative fertility than native-born women in Alberta and Canada. These findings are consistent with the disruption hypothesis, indicating that immigrant fertility is depressed because of factors associated with migration such as moving to a new country, finding a new home, and getting established socially and economically. Furthermore, I discovered that there was no significant difference in parity-specific fertility and cumulative fertility between child immigrant women and native-born women in Alberta and Canada. These results support the adaptation hypothesis, suggesting that the fertility of child immigrant women converges with that of the native-born population because their younger age at immigration facilitates greater socioeconomic and cultural integration into the host society. Finally, I found that there was no significant difference in progression to parity-specific fertility or in cumulative fertility between second-generation women and third-generation women in Alberta and Canada. These results suggest that with regard to fertility there is no evidence of socioeconomic insecurity for second-generation women in the country. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed in the context of Alberta and Canada.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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