MPIDR Working Paper

Lowest low fertility in an urban context: when migration plays a key role

Michielin, F.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2002-050, 46 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (October 2002)
Open Access


In countries with so-called "lowest-low" fertility, the lowest fertility levels are seen in the cities. The main reasons for this development is the difference in the cost of living expenses, combined with income constraints in cities, as compared to these same aspects in rural areas. If we focus our attention on the center of an urban area, migration needs to be taken into account, since it can contribute to particularly low yield fertility. In this paper we use the Turin Longitudinal Study, which has data on all people who have ever been residents in Turin (Italy) during the period 1971-2001. We study the interdependencies between fertility and out-migration choices for a selected group, from the 1956 birth-cohort. In order to fully understand fertility, we need to consider how fertility acts on out-migration choices. Our findings underline the important role of economic resources and life cycle events in such a context which seem to guide both fertility and migration behaviors. Moreover, while having a child significantly hampers long-distance migration, it also has a lower impact on short-distant moves.
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.