Fertility of ethnic and religious groups in the UK

Sylvie Dubuc, University of Oxford

[Project number 30124]

The project aims to i) estimate fertility level and trend by ethnic and religious groups (as defined in the 2001 census) in the UK, and distinguishing between immigrants and UK-born generations ii) to analyse timing at childbearing and parity progression (including birth orders TFRs and evaluate tempo effects on classical period TFRs) iii) analyse the role of gender composition of siblings in fertility behaviour (additional child).

A large part of the fluctuations in the total fertility over the last 20 years in the UK (and western countries in general) is thought to be due to tempo effects in the period TFR. This project aims to investigate parity-fertility measures. This includes calculating median and mean age at childbearing and by parity and producing parity progression ratios by main ethnic groups, distinguishing between UK-born and foreign-born parents. Additionally, the project aims to investigate parity progression (for all women and by ethnic groups where possible) for previous births which were only boys, only girls, or mixed gender; this will allow us to test for the hypothetical role of gender composition of siblings in influencing fertility behaviour. One aim of the project is to produce tempo adjusted period fertility rates for all women and by ethnic and religious groups. Results will be compared to the age specific fertility rates produced in the project number 30060. Additionally to the investigation of tempo effect in the general trend, the analysis by ethnic and religious groups will allow to evaluate the role, if any, of differences in tempo effect to explain differences in the level of fertility between groups. Methods to produce tempo adjusted TFR like the Bongaarts and Freney model (1998), requiring parity fertility estimates, will be used. This project is part and extension of an ongoing ESRC project awarded to myself to analyse demographic characteristics by ethnic and religious groups and further develop populations projection models.