Volume 36 - Article 39 | Pages 1149–1184  

Depressed fertility among descendants of immigrants in Sweden

By Gunnar Andersson, Lotta Persson, Ognjen Obućina

This article is part of the Special Collection 23 "Childbearing among the Descendants of Immigrants in Europe"


Background: Previous research shows evidence of an interrelation between family formation and the migration of immigrants in Europe. Less research has been conducted on the fertility and family behavior of the descendants of immigrants.

Objective: Our study provides analyses of the childbearing behavior of daughters of immigrants in Sweden. The context is that of a country with near-replacement-level fertility and social policies oriented towards social equality.

Methods: The study is based on register data covering 1998-2012, which allows for highly detailed analyses of the childbearing behavior of 20 country origin groups of second-generation women. By means of event history techniques, we analyze the transition to any first, second, and third births.

Results: Our analyses show that most groups of descendants of immigrants have lower fertility than those with a full Swedish background. The risk of having a first child is particularly depressed, and the risk of having a second child is also lower for daughters of immigrants than for women with two Swedish-born parents. In contrast, many groups of immigrant-descendant two-child mothers display elevated third-birth risks.

Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate the necessity to account for parity-specific differences in fertility when studying the fertility of descendants of migrants.

Contribution: Our study is based on data large enough to allow for a disaggregated analysis by birth order and parental country background. It shows that, on average, the fertility of women in the so-called second generation in Sweden is lower than that of women with a full Swedish background.

Author's Affiliation

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Marriage and divorce of immigrants and descendants of immigrants in Sweden
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Disentangling the Swedish fertility decline of the 2010s
Volume 47 - Article 12

Co-ethnic marriage versus intermarriage among immigrants and their descendants: A comparison across seven European countries using event-history analysis
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Mixed marriages between immigrants and natives in Spain: The gendered effect of marriage market constraints
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Life-table representations of family dynamics in the 21st century
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Immigrant fertility in Sweden, 2000-2011: A descriptive note
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Occupational trajectories and occupational cost among Senegalese immigrants in Europe
Volume 28 - Article 19

Economic Uncertainty and Family Dynamics in Europe: Introduction
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Labor-market status, migrant status and first childbearing in Sweden
Volume 27 - Article 25

High Suburban Fertility: Evidence from Four Northern European Countries
Volume 21 - Article 31

Cohort fertility patterns in the Nordic countries
Volume 20 - Article 14

Childbearing dynamics of couples in a universalistic welfare state: The role of labor-market status, country of origin, and gender
Volume 17 - Article 30

Migration and first-time parenthood: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan
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Understanding parental gender preferences in advanced societies: Lessons from Sweden and Finland
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Educational attainment and ultimate fertility among Swedish women born in 1955-59
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Education and childlessness: The relationship between educational field, educational level, and childlessness among Swedish women born in 1955-59
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Demographic trends in Sweden: An update of childbearing and nuptiality up to 2002
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Children's experience of family disruption and family formation: Evidence from 16 FFS countries
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Life-table representations of family dynamics in Sweden, Hungary, and 14 other FFS countries: A project of descriptions of demographic behavior
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Fertility developments in Norway and Sweden since the early 1960s
Volume 6 - Article 4

Demographic trends in Sweden: Childbearing developments in 1961-2000, marriage and divorce developments in 1971-1999
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Contemporary Research on European Fertility: Introduction
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