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Ethnicity and fertility of descendants of rural-to-urban migrants: the case of Daghestan (North Caucasus)

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This paper studies ethnic differences in the fertility of the descendants of migrants in a highly polyethnic region of Russia, Dagestan (North Caucasus). That region gives a rather rare example of an urban population whose majority is formed by migrants and their second- and third-generation descendants of several ethnicities which differ in fertility in their rural places of origin. We take the opportunity to consider the key hypotheses on the fertility of the descendants of migrants in this rather non-standard setting. The central question we address is whether the ethnic differences in fertility observed among rural residents are also passed on to descendants of rural-to-urban migrants. Another question concerns the role of education in preserving vs. weakening ethnic differences in fertility between descendants of migrants. We analyze the Russian population census 2010 data on the region under study, running Poisson models for the total number of children and logistic models for progressions to different parities. Our main conclusion is that ethnic differences in fertility remain significant among descendants of rural-to-urban migrants. Arguably, this supports the socialization hypothesis, because contacts between co-ethnics are intensive in the region and interethnic marriages are rather infrequent, which helps young urban people to adopt patterns of reproductive behavior typical for their ethnicity. Among highly educated women, however, the ethnic differences in fertility are weaker, which might be related to the ease in the departure of such women from fertility trajectories of their co-ethnics.

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The article is based on research conducted under government contract with Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. The study has been funded within the framework of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE).

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Correspondence to Konstantin Kazenin.

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Progression to a 3rd child, by ethnicities at different ages at Census 2010 (all women aged 30+ of the ethnicities included in the study). Source: Russian Census 2010

Fig. 4
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Progression to a 4th child, by ethnicities at different ages at Census 2010 (all women aged 30+ of the ethnicities included in the study). Source: Russian Census 2010

Table 6 Proportions of women born in their current place of residence among urban women, by ethnicities and age groups, %
Table 7 Proportions of urban population among the ethnicities included in the study according to censuses of 1939 and 2010, % (all age groups and both sexes included)
Table 8 Parameters of the IPUMS data base included in the analysis

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Kazenin, K., Kozlov, V. Ethnicity and fertility of descendants of rural-to-urban migrants: the case of Daghestan (North Caucasus). Int. Migration & Integration 24 (Suppl 1), 69–93 (2023).

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