Internal Migration, Contraception and Fertility in Turkey

Jeylan Erman , University of Pennsylvania
Julia Behrman, Northwestern University

While a large literature explores the fertility of migrants, few scholars have investigated contraceptive behavior in connection with migration and family formation processes. Furthermore, the literature on migrant reproduction has largely focused on international migration, thus overlooking the impact of internal migration. We draw on the case of Turkey to explore contraceptive use and healthcare among internal migrants. Using 2013 Turkish Demographic and Health Survey data, we explore family planning behavior among internal migrants, distinguishing among rural-to-urban, rural-to-rural, urban-to-rural and urban-to-urban migrants. We find that migration is significantly associated with modern contraceptive use—particularly for rural-to urban migrants. Supplementary analyses suggest that these findings might be explained by the fact that migration is also associated with increased access to and knowledge of healthcare, better spousal employment opportunities, greater mobility and changes in norms. This provides support to an adaptation perspective on migrant reproduction but extends it to consider contraception as part of reproduction processes.

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 Presented in Session 54. Internal Migration, Health, and Well-being