Immigration and Ethnic Change in Low-Fertility Countries – Towards a New Demographic Transition?

David A. Coleman, University of Oxford
Sergei Scherbov, Vienna Institute of Demography

This paper presents a comparative analysis of the likely future effects of immigration on the ethnic or foreign-origin composition of the developed world, using projections from European countries and the US, with new projections for the United Kingdom. On conservative assumptions, the foreign-origin proportions rise to between 18 and 33% by mid-century with almost linear rates of change. Variant migration assumptions are more important than fertility assumptions. Interethnic unions, incorporated only in the UK projections, reduce the size of low-fertility immigrant populations while generating complex rapidly growing mixed origin populations which may defy categorisation. The rapid growth of non-Western minorities in many receiving countries, allied to the persistent desire for arranged marriage among some groups, indicates that marriage migration will underwrite future immigration flows for some time. Finally a model under development will show the likely political consequences of inflows, employing data on voting entitlements and propensities of immigrant-origin populations.

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Presented in Session 98: Low Fertility in Europe and Its Consequences