POLISH MIGRANTS’ REPRODUCTIVE BEHAVIOUR IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
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Various aspects of Polish migration to the United Kingdom (UK) have been explored by academic and other researchers to date. However, analysis of the reproductive behaviour of Polish migrants in the UK is still scarce, despite the fact that children born to Polish mothers constitute a large and growing share of all children born in the UK. In this paper the author examines fertility trends of Polish migrants through an analysis of birth registration data. The first part of the paper reviews relevant hypotheses relating to migrants’ fertility behaviour. Literature on children to Polish migrants in Germany, Sweden and the UK is also reviewed. The second part of this paper draws on analysis of births to Polish migrants in the UK and provides an overview of birth trends for this migrant group. The author shows that the proportion of births to Polish mothers is increasing in the UK and that the increase in these births has been substantial in all UK countries. Analysis of the data also shows that an increasing proportion of children are born to two Polish parents and that Polish fathers are not likely to have children with non-Polish partners. In the final part of the paper the author discusses these trends and provides potential socio-economic implications of Polish migrants’ reproductive behaviour for demographic trends, the labour market and public services.
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