Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 3-26

First online:

The influence of rural-urban migration on migrants' fertility in Korea, Mexico and Cameroon

  • Bun Song LeeAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • , Louis G. PolAffiliated withDepartment of Marketing, University of Nebraska at Omaha

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The paper presents a comparative analysis of the relationship between rural-urban migration and fertility in Korea, Mexico, and Cameroon. Using an autoregressive model, the results show a significant rural-urban migration adaptation effect in Korea and Mexico, a reduction of 2.57 and 1.45 children during the entire childbearing period, respectively, when compared to a rural stayer, even after the effect of selection has been controlled. Rural-urban migration has a very small impact on fertility in Cameroon. The unexpected result for Cameroon is due to the fact that the fertility-increasing effect of urban residency on the improved supply conditions of births, such as reduced infertility, offsets the fertility-depressing effect of urban residency on the demand for births. As a result of the adaptation to urban fertility norms, the number of country-wide births was reduced significantly in Mexico and Korea over the time periods studied.


Fertility adaptation Fertility level Rural-urban migration