Volume 30 - Article 30 | Pages 887-898

Immigrant fertility in Sweden, 2000-2011: A descriptive note

By Lotta Persson, Jan M. Hoem

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Date received:11 Sep 2013
Date published:20 Mar 2014
Word count:1534
Keywords:duration hypothesis, fertility among male and female immigrants, fertility by duration since immigration, TFR-like cumulative fertility, UN Human Development Index


Background: Modern Scandinavian population registers provide excellent data sources that allow a user to quickly gain an impression of the level of fertility and its structure across subpopulations. This may also allow the analyst to check a feature of the much-cited disruption hypothesis, at least in part.

Objective: The purpose of this note is to exploit this potential to give an overview of the structure of recent total fertility after immigration to Sweden from various groups of sending countries, separately for males and females. In the process we demonstrate to what extent the post-migration fertility compensation which is part of the fertility disruption hypothesis is fulfilled in our study population. Due to the nature of our data we have refrained from studying fertility before migration.

Methods: Based on data from a combination of two Swedish administrative registers (the Historic Population Register and the Multi-Generation Register) that cover both men and women in the entire population for the years 2000–2011, we compute and plot TFR-like age-cumulated fertility levels, specific for years since immigration, for six groups of sending countries, separately for men and women.

Results: We find that the post-migration fertility compensation specified as part of the fertility disruption hypothesis is visibly confirmed in our Swedish study population for female European immigrants from non-EU countries and for female immigrants from non-European countries with a low or medium UN Human Development Index, but not so for other female immigrants, i.e. not for those who come from a Nordic country or from a non-Nordic EU country, and not for female immigrants from a non-European country with a high Human Development Index, including the United States. We find mild but less conclusive evidence for the same feature for males.

Conclusions: This shows that at least as far as post-migration fertility compensation is concerned, the disruption hypothesis for migrants corresponds to a fertility pattern exhibited by some groups of migrants under some circumstances, but it is not universal.

Author's Affiliation

Lotta Persson - Statistiska centralbyrån (Statistics Sweden), Sweden [Email]
Jan M. Hoem - Stockholms Universitet, Sweden [Email]

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