24 / 2006
Damir Josipovič


The article presents the development of immigration to Slovenia after World War II from the aspect of influences on birth rate in Slovenia. It analyses the immigration to Slovenia and based on comparison of birth rates of individual ethnic groups in Slovenia, defines the role of those in the collective birth rate in Slovenia. Stress is on the comparison of birth rates of the immigrated population and the majority population in Slovenia. The results offer a basis for a conclusion that immigration to Slovenia did not prolong or stop the demographic transition in Slovenia as is frequently presumed, but caused changes were even more distinctive. We can prove that by generational values of final descendants, which show that the curve of decrease of final offspring descended evenly, and that in regard of increased extent of generations by number most growing since the immigration those within age groups did not increase final offspring. Transversal data show coincidence of standstill in decrease of collective birth rate with periods of copious immigration to Slovenia – that is in the 1970ies. A deepened analysis shows that age effect had the most significant role, which was not in direct connection with immigration.

The collective birth rate with a stagnation in the 1970ies decreased rapidly already in the first half of 1980ies, which is in contrast with the then existing trend of rapid growth of number of immigrants. Some authors ascertained that in the period from the end of the 1960ies and 1970ies the correlation between birth rate and immigration was negative, and in 1980ies high and positive. Necessary to remind here is that the 1980s situation cannot be excluded from the entirety, as arbitrary decision on time interval of observing impacts strongly on the results. How to explain otherwise the relatively high and rapid increase of migration balance in the “first” period with general decrease of value of collective birth rate in Slovenia along simultaneous decline and coincidence of value of collective birth rate and migration balance? The 1980ies situation should therefore not be generalized on the 1970ies situation. Such generalization induces a thesis that with the decline of immigration, birth rate decreased as well. Such a thesis is in utter contradiction with the situation in the 1970ies when immigration increased rapidly and despite so the birth rate decreased.
From an integral viewpoint, immigration actually influenced on shortening of demographic transition and caused an abrupt transition into the next demographic transition. That immigrations actually could not stop the demographic transition is seen from data on final descendants of female immigrants. That is, as we have shown, in average lower from the one with Slovene women.
This means the very opposite, namely that the immigrant women contributed to a rapid decline of transversal birth rate values in the 1980ies. Evaluating the influences of immigration on the course of demographic transition through the entire birth rate is problematic for several reasons. The most important is that transversal indicators are under strong influence of momentary factors, especially of changes of average age of mothers at childbirth. The influence of these changes is so enormous that a yearly value can be over- or underestimated for over a tenth. That is essentially more than quantitative changes in birth rate, which are by their nature long range, and which is also confirmed by longitudinal indicators, can influence on the value of collective birth rate.