Marriage migration versus family reunification: how does the marriage and migration history affect the timing of first and second childbirth among Turkish immigrants in Germany?

Wolf, K.
European Journal of Population, 32:5, 731–759 (2016)


Our study focuses on the fertility of first-generation female and male Turkish migrants in Germany. To evaluate whether timing effects such as fertility disruption or an interrelation of marriage, migration and childbirth occur, we examine first and second births in the years before and after immigration to Germany. The Turkish sample of the Generations and Gender Survey which was conducted in 2006 offers the unique opportunity to examine Turkish immigrants as a single immigrant category. We question the common understanding that Turkish immigrants who arrived to Germany after 1973 mainly arrived for family reunification resulting in high birth intensities immediately after immigration. To distinguish different circumstances under which male and female immigrants have arrived to Germany, we include the combined marriage and migration history of the couple. We find that first birth probabilities are elevated during the years immediately following migration. But this effect is not universal among migrants with different marriage and migration histories. It appears that the arrival effect of high birth intensities is particularly high among female immigrants and is evident only among marriage migrants, that is Turks who married a partner who already lived in Germany at the time of the wedding. By contrast, among those who immigrated for family reunification, we do not find such an arrival effect.

Schlagwörter: Deutschland, family reunification, fertility, migrants
Das Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung (MPIDR) in Rostock ist eines der international führenden Zentren für Bevölkerungswissenschaft. Es gehört zur Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, einer der weltweit renommiertesten Forschungsgemeinschaften.