Discussion Paper No. 10-05


Using data from the 2002 Ethnic Diversity Survey (EDS), this paper compares fertility behavior across four groups of generations: recent and long-term immigrants of 1st generation, plus second and third generations. Several important findings emerge from this study: First, consistent with previous studies, we have documented higher current fertility among recent immigrants, but childbearing is lowest in the second generation. Second, although cumulative fertility tends to be significantly higher among long-term immigrants than recent immigrants, it becomes more similar to that of second and successive generations after adjusting for socio-demographic composition. This suggests that it is not generation per se, but compositional characteristics associated with generation groups that underlie fertility differentials. It can be argued that differences in the fertility patterns of long-term immigrants in Canada are likely to diminish as their socio-economic and cultural characteristics converge to those of the Canadian-born. This study also documents ethnic minority and age at arrival differences, suggesting higher fertility for those who are less acculturated or assimilated into the society.