Partnership, Fertility, and Employment Trajectories of Immigrants in the UK: A Three-Channel Sequence Analysis

Julia Mikolai , University of St Andrews
Hill Kulu , University of St Andrews

Partnership changes, childbearing, and employment are three important and interrelated dimensions of immigrants’ lives indicative of their integration. Previous studies have analysed the employment opportunities of immigrants and their family lives, but most studies have examined the three life domains separately. In this study, we investigate how partnership, fertility, and employment changes interact in the lives of migrants. We use data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study, which contains rich and reliable retrospective histories on individuals’ fertility, partnership, and employment transitions. We apply multi-channel sequence analysis, cluster analysis, and multinomial logistic regression to establish the main types of joint trajectories of partnership, fertility, and employment among immigrants in the UK during the first five years after migration. We find three types of joint trajectories. Immigrants in the first group (‘single, childless, students’) arrive as and largely remain single and childless and are either in education, or part-time employment when they arrive. The second group (‘partnered, childless, full-time employed’) consists of immigrants who arrived as single and childless but later became partnered and parents. They are largely in full-time employment. Finally, the third group represents family migration; individuals in this group arrived as married and half of them also already had at least one child at the time of arrival. Five years after migration, almost all of them are married and have become parents. Individuals in this group tend to be employed or inactive.

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 Presented in Session 80. Fertility among immigrant populations