Fertility patterns among the minority populations of China: A multilevel analysis

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Doctor of Philosophy
Title Fertility patterns among the minority populations of China: A multilevel analysis
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2003
URL https://oaktrust.tamu.edu/bitstream/handle/1969.1/1186/etd-tamu-2003B-2003070701-Chan-1.pdf?sequence​=1&isAllowed=y
Sociological and demographic analyses of minority fertility in the United States
have suggested that the processes of socioeconomic, cultural, marital, and structural
assimilation will lead to convergence in fertility. So far, little research has used the
assimilation approach to study the fertility of the minority populations of China, and
also, no research has taken both individual-level and group-level characteristics as
Using micro-data from the One Percent 1990 Census of China, this dissertation
performs multilevel analyses, hierarchical generalized linear modeling, to examine the
effects of assimilation and the one-child policy at both the individual level and the group
level on minority women’s fertility.
Several patterns are found in the multilevel analyses. First, the contextual
characteristics of minority groups have strong correlations with fertility across thirty
major minority groups in China. It suggests that community power and subculture have
strong influences on women’s decisions regarding their number of children. Second, the
effect of the one-child policy is positive and highly significant on minority women’s
fertility. However, the strong policy effect does not cover the effect of assimilation.
After controlling for policy, the impact of all the assimilation predictors, at both the
individual and group level, still remains statistically significant. At the individual level,
minority women’s educational level, occupational status, status of intermarriage, and
migration status have significant and positive impacts on their fertility. At the group
level, the levels of minority groups’ residential segregation, educational segregation,
illiteracy, intermarriage rate, and their Moslem group culture have significant and
negative impacts on individual women’s fertility. Third, several cross-level interactions
in the rural models are not consistent with the complete models, which suggests that
some indirect effects of assimilation on minority fertility may come from the urban
minorities. Finally, in addition to the direct impacts of socioeconomic, marital, and
cultural assimilation on minority fertility, several cross-level interactions are significant
and indirectly affect women’s fertility. Findings reported in this dissertation indicate a
successful integration of individual and contextual variables in analyses of minority
fertility. The results contribute to the understanding of the assimilation impacts on
minority fertility in China.

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