Age at Migration, Language, and Fertility Transitions among Migrants to Canada

Alicia Adsera, Princeton University
Ana Ferrer, University of Calgary

We explore the fertility of Canadian immigrants using the 20% sample of the Canadian Census from 1991-2006 among women 16-45. We find a non-linear relationship between age of migration and fertility, with those migrating in their late teens having the highest rates when compared to natives. This is independent of the mother tongue of the migrant. We do not find a “critical period” of assimilation among those with a non-official mother tongue as previous research has found for education. Other factors beyond language, such as close cultural ties to the country of origin of the parents do play an additional role in the fertility outcome. However, migrants with university education who arrived before age 18 behave like native born regardless of the particular age at migration. Results have caveats due to endogeneity of the education outcomes and age at migration (chosen by parents but potentially related to unobservables).

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Presented in Session 138: Migration and Fertility