The Contribution of Mothers of Foreign Descent to Total Fertility: The Recent Recovery of Period Fertility in Flanders (Belgium)

Lisa Van Landschoot, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Period total fertility has been recovering in Europe since the early 21st century and the role of immigration has been examined in this regard. In this paper we question to what extent the population of foreign descent contributed to the recent (2001/2008) recovery of period fertility in the Flemish Region of Belgium. We propose a method to indirectly assess the impact of births to women of foreign descent on age-specific and total fertility. Overall we find that women of foreign descent are increasingly important for the number of babies born in Flanders between 2001 and 2008 (from 16 to 20 percent of births are to women of foreign descent). Our results indicate that women of foreign descent nevertheless have had only a limited impact on total fertility. Period total fertility in Flanders would have been only slightly lower and would have recovered also without the contribution of women of foreign descent.

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Presented in Session 43: Migration and Reproductive Behavior