Volume 37 - Article 50 | Pages 1625–1658

A reversal of the socioeconomic gradient of nuptiality during the Swedish mid-20th-century baby boom

By Glenn Sandström

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter

 

 
Date received:20 Dec 2016
Date published:29 Nov 2017
Word count:8056
Keywords:baby boom, female employment, nuptiality, socioeconomic status, Sweden
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2017.37.50
 

Abstract

Background: Research into the causes of the mid-20th-century baby boom has concluded that the main proximate cause of the fertility increase during the 1940s was earlier and more universal marriage in the cohorts born after 1910, and that this association between nuptiality trends and fertility was particularly strong in Sweden.

Objective: However, we do not know whether this was a general trend or if certain socioeconomic groups spearheaded the change toward earlier marriage.

Methods: The present study uses event history analysis to investigate the marital histories of approximately 100,000 men and women in Sweden, born 1880–1934, to determine how socioeconomic differentials in nuptiality developed during the period 1900–1960.

Conclusions: The analysis shows that the sharp increase in nuptiality was not driven uniformly across different social strata, but rather took the form of earlier and more universal marriage among men in the mid and upper social strata and among economically active women, while male unskilled workers and women outside the labor market did not participate in the nuptiality boom during the peak baby boom years and even showed some signs of decreased marriage probabilities compared to earlier cohorts.

Contribution: The results indicate that sector-specific economic growth after the depression and the breakthrough of the Swedish welfare state benefitted couples who could aspire to a middle-class identity, and that pronatalist policies made female economic activity more compatible with marriage. The results show that the shift toward a positive female socioeconomic gradient of marriage and family formation that can be observed in contemporary Sweden had its beginnings already with the cohorts that participated in the mid-20th-century baby boom.

Author's Affiliation

Glenn Sandström - Umeå Universitet, Sweden [Email]

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» Disparities in death: Inequality in cause-specific infant and child mortality in Stockholm, 1878‒1926
Volume 36 - Article 15    | Keywords: socioeconomic status, Sweden

» The mid-twentieth century Baby Boom and the changing educational gradient in Belgian cohort fertility
Volume 30 - Article 33    | Keywords: baby boom, socioeconomic status

» Demographic trends in Sweden: An update of childbearing and nuptiality up to 2002
Volume 11 - Article 4    | Keywords: nuptiality, Sweden

» Fathers on call? A study on the sharing of care work between parents in Sweden
Volume 39 - Article 2    | Keywords: Sweden

» A cohort comparison of trends in first cohabitation duration in the United States
Volume 38 - Article 66    | Keywords: socioeconomic status

Articles

»Volume 37

 

Citations

 

 

Similar Articles

 

 

Jump to Article

Volume Page
Volume Article ID