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BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2013 Sep 5;13:170. doi: 10.1186/1471-2393-13-170.

Changing trend? Sex ratios of children born to Indian immigrants in Norway revisited.

Author information

1
Statistics Norway, PO Box 8131 Dept, NO-0033 Oslo, Norway. mto@ssb.no.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In some Western countries, a disturbingly low share of girls has been observed among new-borns from Indian immigrants. Also in Norway, a previous study based on figures from 1969-2005 showed a high percentage of boys among children of Indian origin living in Norway, when the birth was of higher order (third birth or later). This was suggested to reflect a practice of sex-selective abortions in the Indian immigrant population. In this article we have seen whether extended time series for the period 2006-2012 give further support to this claim.

METHODS:

Based on data from the Norwegian Central Population Register we used observations for the sex of all live births in Norway for the period 1969-2012 where the mother was born in India. The percentage of boys was calculated for each birth order, during four sub periods. Utilising a binomial probability model we tested whether the observed sex differences among Indian-born women were significantly different from sex differences among all births.

RESULTS:

Contrary to findings from earlier periods and other Western countries, we found that Indian-born women in Norway gave birth to more girls than boys of higher order in the period 2006-2012. This is somewhat surprising, since sex selection is usually expected to be stronger if the mother already has two or more children.

CONCLUSIONS:

The extended time series do not suggest a prevalence of sex selective abortions among Indian-born women in Norway. We discuss whether the change from a majority of boys to a majority of girls in higher order could be explained by new waves of immigrant women, by new preferences among long-residing immigrant women in Norway - or by mere coincidence.

PMID:
24011259
PMCID:
PMC3766669
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2393-13-170
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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