European Journal of Population

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 409–436 | Cite as

Fertility Patterns Among Turkish Women in Turkey and Abroad: The Effects of International Mobility, Migrant Generation, and Family Background



In this paper, we examine the fertility behavior of Turkish women in Europe from a context-of-origin perspective. Women with different migration biographies (first-generation, 1.5-generation, second-generation migrants, and return migrants) are compared with “stayer” women from the same regions of origin in Turkey. This approach provides us with new insights into the study of the effects of international migrations. First-, second-, and third-birth transitions are analyzed using data from the 2000 Families Study, which was conducted in 2010 and 2011 in Turkey and in western Europe. The classical hypotheses of disruption, interrelated events, adaptation, socialization, and selectivity/composition are developed with reference to the context-of-origin perspective. To account for socialization and family-related composition effects, we also look at family characteristics. Our findings provide no support for the disruption hypothesis, but suggest that the first-generation migrant women have higher first-birth risks than the stayers. However, this gap can be fully explained by differences in marriage duration. Differences in composition—namely in educational attainment—account for our finding that the second migrant generation has lower first-birth transition rates than the women in Turkey. Except for the number of siblings, the family influence, including the processes of intergenerational transmission, is minor and hardly accounts for the migrant–stayer differences in birth transitions. Most remarkably, the analyses show that the second- and third-birth risks of almost all of the migrant groups are higher than those of the women in Turkey, when individual and family factors are held constant; which suggests that there is a fertility crossover between the origin and the destination contexts.


Fertility Birth transitions Turkish migrants Turkey Western Europe Country of origin 



Financial support from NORFACE Research Program on Migration in Europe—Social, Economic, Cultural, and Policy Dynamics is gratefully acknowledged, and we thank the anonymous reviewers and the editor for their helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyChemnitz University of TechnologyChemnitzGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Sociology and Demographic ResearchUniversity of RostockRostockGermany

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