Do Sub-Cultural Norms Survive Immigrant Transition? Fertility of Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese Immigrants´Ç¬

Ping Ren, University of California, Irvine

This paper examines whether subcultural norms survive immigrant transitions to affect fertility of the two biggest Chinese immigrant subgroups, Cantonese and Mandarins, by analyzing the Census 2000 PUMS. The research finds that Cantonese, who are believed to be more pronatalistic and have higher fertility than Mandarins in China, continue to exhibit these tendencies in the United States. Part of the fertility disparities between Cantonese and Mandarins can be explained by their differences in migration experiences, demographic characteristics and socioeconomic status. Higher Cantonese fertility, however, persists even when all these factors are controlled for, suggesting the effect of pronatal subcultural norms. Furthermore, levels of education and degree of assimilation, which play very important roles in depressing fertility, can also be associated with their regional culture by cause and effect. Some possible causes of the Cantonese pronatal norms and their persistence and changes are explored as well.

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Presented in Session 137: Fertility, Family Planning and Reproductive Health among Immigrant or Minority Populations