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Birefringence and polarization dispersion introduced by thermal stress in single-mode fibers with elliptical core are formulated here in terms of fiber structure parameters, thermal expansion coefficients, and thermoelastic constants. Thermal stress distribution and birefringence characteristics are estimated within first-order perturbation with respect to fiber core ellipticity. Normalized frequency dependence of birefringence and polarization dispersion is also derived in this paper. Birefringence and polarization dispersion in elliptical core fiber are seen to depend on thermal stress rather than geometrical anisotropy for relatively small relative index differences. Numerical examples are presented for germanosilicate, borosilicate, and phosphosilicate glass fibers.