Academic journal article International Journal of Population Research

Internal Migration and Fertility in Turkey: Kaplan-Meier Survival Analysis

Academic journal article International Journal of Population Research

Internal Migration and Fertility in Turkey: Kaplan-Meier Survival Analysis

Article excerpt

Recommended by Shirlena Huang

Institute of Population Studies, Hacettepe University, 06100 Ankara, Turkey

Received 28 December 2011; Revised 17 April 2012; Accepted 14 May 2012

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1. Introduction

Turkey underwent substantial social and economic changes in the last century, especially from 1950 onwards. Starting in the 1950s, internal migration and urbanization gathered speed and became one of the most important factors changing social and economic structure of Turkey. The results of 2003 Turkey Demographic and Health Survey [1] reveal that urban population exceeded 71 percent of the total population, transforming Turkey from a predominantly rural country to a mainly urban one in less than half a century. Similarly, Turkey experienced a serious fertility decline starting in the 1950s. Until the 1970s, the decline was gradual, but since that time the country experienced a steeper decline. During this process of change, the level of total period fertility declined from a level of 6 or 7 to a value near to replacement level by the 2000s. Moreover, the 2003 Turkey Demographic and Health Survey [1] shows that in three of the five demographic regions, namely in the West, the Central, and the North Anatolia regions, the total fertility rate is below the replacement level. Changes in fertility and migration occurred simultaneously as mutually reinforcing processes in Turkey.

There are relatively few studies on the reproductive behaviour of internal migrants, not only in Turkey but also in all over the world. Moreover, most of the existing studies, particularly the recent ones, focus on the fertility of immigrants in industrialized countries. In addition, most of the studies on the fertility of internal migrants focus only on one type of flow, from rural-to-urban. Other migration flows such as urban-to-urban, urban-to-rural, and rural-to-rural, are generally disregarded. Considering all migration flows, this study aims to compare fertility behaviours of migrants with those of nonmigrants, at both origin and destination areas. Specifically, the study examines whether reproductive behaviour changes when people migrate from one sociospatial context to another within Turkey.

In the literature, we face two main hypotheses explaining differences in fertility between nonmigrants and different groups of migrants. Socialization hypothesis posits that fertility behaviours are formed during childhood and that they remain relatively stable throughout life; hence, those who arrive in a culturally different setting as adults adapt slowly to the new reproductive norms that are prevalent there [2-9]. Convergence towards the fertility levels of new cultural setting occurs only in the next generation. On the other hand, adaptation hypothesis emphasizes the importance of current, rather than the childhood residence [10-15]. This hypothesis supports the possibility of resocialization of migrant populations. It assumes that migrants adjust their fertility in response to the costs and opportunities they encounter in their new environment. Dominant values and norms related to family and fertility in the new setting shape the migrant's fertility behaviour, regardless of where the migrant originally came from. The main difference between the socialization and adaptation hypotheses lies at the length of time within which social and economic factors are presumed to operate. While socialization hypothesis assumes that adjustment to the fertility of receiving society occurs after a generation, in the adaptation hypothesis, it is thought to occur within less than ten years [15]. This study attempts to identify which of these two hypotheses is more explanatory in the case of Turkey by employing a nonparametric descriptive survival analysis technique, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. …

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