The Fertility of Temporary Mexican Migrants to the United States

Maria J. Perez-Patron, Texas A&M University
Emily M. Agree, Johns Hopkins University

From a life-course perspective migration and family formation are both events associated with the transition to adulthood and, therefore, likely to occur during the main reproductive years. This study uses data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study, which contains information on U.S. migration as well as family formation, to look at the long-term fertility outcomes of temporary migrants. Mexico is particularly well suited to this study, since the prevalence of international migration to the U.S. is high, and return migration is very common. Negative Binomial regression was used to model complete and age-specific fertility. Results confirm a disruptive effect of migration on fertility, but only among female migrants. However, both Mexican men and women who temporarily migrated to the United States before 2001 were selected on characteristics associated with fertility. Female Mexican migrants were selected on low fertility characteristics, while Mexican male migrants were selected on high fertility characteristics.

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Presented in Session 65: Migration and Reproductive Behavior