Fertility Desires and Behaviors of Temporary Migrant Women: The Case of Anhui and Sichuan of China

Danzhen You, University of California, Berkeley

This paper uses quantitative data and in-depth-interview materials from "Influence of migration on rural women" survey in 2000 to analyze the differences of fertility between migrants and nonmigrant in China. The author finds that first, the migrant women desire fewer children than nonmigrants and also have fewer actual ever-born children, and they also give birth later and have longer birth interval. Second, the differences not only result from selectivity of migrants but also from migration itself. Migration affects fertility through two routes: assimilation to destination and instrumental demand to change (separation between wife and husband, reluctant fertility change in order to be employed in cities). Third, migrants are not different from nonmigrant in desired children sex composition. Change of desired children sex lags behind that of desired children number and it is much harder to change since the acme of fertility culture is boy preference or “at least one boy”.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Fertility, Family Planning, Unions, and Sexual Behavior