Is replacement migration actually taking place in low fertility countries?

Francesco C. Billari, Gianpiero Dalla-Zuanna


Are migrants replacing “missing” births? We discuss the actual importance of “replacement migration” in the context of the low and lowest-low fertility levels that emerged in Europe, and subsequently in South-East Asia, during the 1990s. After a short introduction on this much debated topic, we take an empirical perspective with a specific focus on birth-cohort replacement migration and working-age population replacement migration. We examine the actual dynamics of the absolute population numbers by birth cohort (independently of the place of birth) in some low-fertility, highly-developed countries, and we also look at aging indicators. Subsequently, we conduct a more detailed analysis of a prototypical lowest-low fertility country, Italy. We conclude that (some) replacement migration is indeed taking place but the extent varies according to the country.

Francesco C. BILLARI, Full Professor of Demography, Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics, Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management and Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research, Bocconi University, Via Guglielmo Rontgen, n. 1, 20136-Milano - Italy. E-mail: francesco.billari@unibocconi.it.

Gianpiero DALLA-ZUANNA, Full Professor of Demography, Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Padua, Via Cesare Battisti, n. 241, Padova, Italy. E-mail: gpdz@stat.unipd.it.



relacement migration; lowest-low fertility; homeostatic model

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ISSN: 2035-5556

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