European Journal of Population

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 411–435 | Cite as

Family Dynamics Among Immigrants and Their Descendants in Europe: Current Research and Opportunities

  • Hill KuluEmail author
  • Amparo González-Ferrer


This paper reviews recent research on family dynamics among immigrants and their descendants in Europe. While there is a large body of literature on various aspects of immigrant lives in Europe, research on family dynamics has emerged only in the last decade. Studies based on individual-level longitudinal data and disaggregated measures of partnership and fertility behaviour have significantly advanced our understanding of the factors shaping family patterns among immigrants and their descendants and have contributed to research on immigrant integration. By drawing on recent research, this paper proposes several ways of further developing research on ethnic minority families. We emphasise the need to study family changes among immigrants and their descendants over their life courses, investigate various modes of family behaviour and conduct more truly comparative research to deepen our understanding of how ethnic minorities structure their family lives in different institutional and policy settings.


Marriage Cohabitation Divorce Separation Fertility Immigrants Ethnic minorities Second generation Europe 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under Grant Agreement no. 320116 for the research project FamiliesAndSocieties.

We are also grateful for Frances Goldscheider, Allan Puur, Gunnar Andersson and two anonymous referees for their valuable comments and suggestions on a previous version of this article.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK
  2. 2.Institute of Economy, Geography and Demography (IEGD), Center for Humanities and Social Sciences (CCHS)Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)MadridSpain

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