The families of the future - recent trends in family demography applied on Sweden's population forecast

Lena Lundkvist, Statistics Sweden
Karin Lundström, Statistics Sweden

There are no forecasts on household or family level in Sweden, mostly due to lack of data. The last census was conducted in 1990, and since then there are gaps in the register-based statistics on families and households. To still get an idea of how the families of the future will look like we have tried a different approach. By recycling the knowledge of recent analyzes on family formation, separations and other changes in family structure performed at Statistics Sweden and using it in a new way we can take the results of these studies to a higher level. In this study we apply the knowledge of these analyzes and the observed trends from the latest available statistics on the results of the population forecast to achieve new knowledge of the families of the future. The major changes expected in the population during the coming 20 years is an increasing number of elderly persons and an increasing share of foreign born and their children. We have also observed an increasing level of education in the population and that the population is concentrating more and more to the larger cities. On a family level, parents share the responsibility of their children more equally. In recent years Statistics Sweden has published several reports analyzing family formation and separations. These reports show differences in behavior between groups with different levels of education and with different backgrounds. In our study we find for example that many seem prone to choosing a partner with similar characteristics as themselves and since the population is becoming more diverse this could lead to difficulties finding a partner in the future. Another example is the increasing age at leaving the parental home which could lead to parents having children living at home almost up until retirement age.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 3