Immigration and Fertility: A Comparative Analysis of Alberta and Canada

  • Author / Creator
    Islam, Md Kamrul
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Herbert Northcott, Sociology
    • Zheng Wu, External University of Victoria
    • Gillian Stevens, Sociology
    • Denise Young, Economics