Guatemala has the highest fertility of any country in Latin America, and it is also the least urbanized. Projected rural-urban migration will shift more of Guatemala's population from rural areas into towns and cities. This article uses retrospective life-history data collected in migrant origin and destination areas in Guatemala to compare the fertility of rural-urban migrant women to that of rural and urban nonmigrants. Results from discrete-time hazard regression models of union formation, first birth, and third and higher parity births indicate that delayed marriage while still in rural areas, and the rapid adoption of urban fertility practices after migration, result in intermediate migrant fertility that is closer to that of urban natives than rural nonmigrants. If current patterns are any guide to the future, the redistribution of population from high fertility rural areas to towns and cities in Guatemala will accelerate the decline in aggregate fertility beyond what would have resulted from declines in rural and urban fertility alone.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 17, 2004
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