Immigrant fertility in Sweden - a cohort perspective

Johan Tollebrant, Statistics Sweden
Lotta Persson, Statistics Sweden

Immigrant fertility has been a much studied topic the last few years. Much focus has been on the fertility behaviour after migration. Little attention has been given to cohort fertility of immigrants. In this study we attempt to measure cohort fertility of foreign born women for six different birth country groups and to compare it with cohort fertility of native born. To estimate cohort fertility for foreign born we need information both on childbearing before and after migration. Childbearing after migration is easy to calculate by using Swedish administrative registers covering vital statistics of the entire population. The childbearing for foreign-born women before migration to Sweden is more problematic. This is estimated by using the information on foreign born women’s children that also have immigrated to Sweden. In the Multi-Generation Register there is a link between children and parents. This method has its limitations. Some foreign-born women may have children outside of Sweden. It is also possible that some children have died before the migration event. The results show that foreign born women have relatively few children at immigration while birth rates are relatively high after migration. In the cohort fertility measures these results are put together. The results suggest that the differences between foreign born and native born are smaller than if the often used period measure TFR is used. The results shed some light on the quantum and tempo of immigrant fertility despite the underestimation of the figures for cohorts.

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Presented in Session 96: Fertility of immigrants