High Fertility among Mexican Immigrants to the United States: Myth or Reality?

Claire Altman, Pennsylvania State University

The fertility of Mexican immigrants has benefited from a resurgence because of its broad social implications. Mexican immigrants have a higher TFR (2.9-3.3) than Mexican women (2.34) and women in the U.S. (2.05). This paper tests whether Mexican immigrant women have seemingly high fertility rates because prior research inaccurately accounts for selection by comparing the fertility of immigrant women to all women in Mexico, regardless of migration experience. Using nationally representative Mexican and U.S data, the current and completed fertility of non-migrant and migrant women in Mexico and the U.S. are compared by age, marital status, and educational attainment. Mexican ever-migrants and non-migrants exhibit differing fertility patterns. The fertility of Mexican ever-migrants mirrors that of Mexican migrant women in the U.S. Consequently, the results suggest that prior comparisons overlooked how migration experience and selection may explain the high fertility levels among Mexican migrant women in the U.S.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 4