Socialization, Adaptation, Transnationalism, and the Reproductive Behavior of Sub-Saharan African Migrants in France
Migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) move from a region with high fertility to regions with low fertility. Yet very few studies have examined the reproductive behavior of international migrants from SSA. This study examines the roles of origin and destination socialization on the fertility and fertility ideals of SSA migrants in France. The study draws on measures of assimilation to systematically examine the effects of socialization and adaptation as well as transnationalism for the effects of sustained origin ties. Data are from the TEO (“Trajectoires et Origines”) survey conducted in France (2008/2009). Logistic regression is used to examine current fertility (the odds of having a birth in the preceding 5 years), and poisson regression is used to examine cumulative fertility (children ever born) and fertility ideals (reported ideal number of children in a family). Controlling for sociodemographic factors, first-generation SSA migrants have higher fertility than second-generation SSA migrants and non-immigrants. But first- and second-generation SSA migrants have higher fertility ideals than non-immigrants. Among SSA migrants, first- and second-generation migrants do not differ in fertility and fertility ideals when adaptation is accounted for. Most measures of adaptation are negatively associated with actual fertility and fertility ideals. Transnationalism is associated with higher fertility ideals but less so with actual fertility. The study finds some evidence for origin socialization, but the findings are more strongly supportive of adaptation to the host society. Origin socialization appears to have a stronger influence on fertility ideals than actual fertility.