Immigrant fertility adaptation and change in Los Angeles

Stuart H. Sweeney, University of California, Santa Barbara
Kathryn Grace, University of Utah

Los Angeles, California has historically been a major destination for migrants coming from high fertility, pro-natalist cultures. Immigration from Mexico has been fairly constant while spikes in immigration from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Vietnam were spurred by civil conflict in the source countries. The fertility behavior of these immigrant groups has attracted the attention of both academic and policy researchers with the primary questions being, a) Will fertility levels of immigrants approach those of the native-born population? and b) If fertility levels do change, will the pace of change occur on the time scale of the individual immigrants or will it take generations? We address these questions and try to provide additional context by using an additional baseline of the home country fertility behavior. We use mixed methods in the research combining the results from statistical models based on the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey with additional context coming from a set of focus groups with immigrant women from Central America.

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Presented in Poster Session 1