There is an extensive sociological and demographic literature about why racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. have different levels of fertility, usually higher, than the majority white group. The four major hypotheses are the subcultural hypothesis, the social characteristics hypothesis, the minority group status hypothesis, and the economic hypothesis. In this paper we focus on fertility patterns of the majority Han and the larger minority groups in China and examine the degree to which the above hypotheses may be useful in articulating the reasons why the fertility of the Han majority differs from that of the minorities. We first present a brief historical review of the genesis and development of the majority and minority nationalities in China. We next present short vignettes of each of the eight minority nationalities we will be examining. We then review the Western literature on fertility differentials between majority and minority nationalities, and summarize the theoretical expectations behind the four prominent hypotheses to be tested. Finally, we present the results of the analysis, and draw out the implications of our work.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 14, 2006
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