What about (Having) the Children?: Fertility Patterns among Interracial Couples

Rosalind B. King, Eunice Kennedy Schriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), NIH
Jenifer Bratter, Rice University

Racial differentials in fertility provide important markers for the ways that “race matters” in family formation. However, studies of racial differences in childbearing rarely account for the race of the spouse or partner because demographic studies of fertility rates and trends tend to focus on individual-level rather than couple-level characteristics. Racial patterns in fertility may not address the childbearing patterns of interracial couples, an increasingly common pathway of family formation. Thomson, et al. (2002) demonstrated that couple-level fertility patterns differ by whether the husband or the wife has previous biological children when entering a marriage. We similarly propose that group-level fertility differentials associated with other characteristics of husbands and wives, like race, may also matter differently in determining couple-level behavior. We ask whether the race-specific group-level fertility pattern associated with the female partner or with the male partner plays a dominant role in shaping the fertility behavior of the couple.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 7