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Statistical news from Statistics Sweden

2014-12-18 9:30 AM Nr 2014:576


Demographic Analysis (DEMOG)Childbearing among foreign born – before and after migration to Sweden:

Equal number of children for Swedish born and foreign born women

Fertility is often only measured within Sweden, and foreign born women then have a higher fertility rate than Swedish born women. Prior to immigration however, foreign born women often have fewer children than Swedish born women. A new report from Statistics Sweden about childbearing of the foreign born – before and after immigration to Sweden shows that Swedish born and foreign born women in total have an equal number of children on average.

Childbearing during a certain year is often measured with the fertility rate. This measurement shows how many children a women would have on average if women continued to have children at the same rate as during the year. This measurement is only based on childbearing that occurs in Sweden, and foreign born women then have a relatively high birth rate. In 2013 foreign born women had a fertility rate of 2.18 children per woman and Swedish born women had a fertility rate of 1.85 per woman.

1.9 children on average

Foreign born women have few children when they come to Sweden. They have fewer children than Swedish born women at the same age, and many immigrate without children. Many children are born during the first years after immigration. Since many come to Sweden to start a family, they may postpone childbearing until they have settled in Sweden. After the first years' high birth rate, it gradually decreases.

The average birth rate of foreign born women is about the same as for Swedish born women. Then children born before immigration and those who are born in Sweden are included. At age 40 both Swedish born women and foreign born women have an average of 1.9 children. This applies to women born in the beginning of the 1970s who are now near the end of their childbearing age.

Average number of children per woman, both children born in Sweden and children born abroad. Women born 1970–1974, by age
Childbearing among foreign born – before and after migration to Sweden

Between age 20 and 30, foreign born women have more children on average than Swedish born women the same age, but by age 40 they have the same number of children on average.

Childbearing differs for women born in different countries. Two groups have more children than Swedish born women. Women born in countries in Europe outside the EU have an average of 2.0 children and women born in countries outside Europe with a low development level have 2.6 children. Women born in EU countries have fewer children on average than Swedish born children, 1.5 children on average. In the other three groups that were studied, childbearing is at the same level as for Swedish born women.

Higher childlessness among foreign born women

The study shows that foreign born women are more often childless than women born in Sweden. The largest percentage is among women born in an EU country, where 25 percent were childless at age 40. This can be compared to Swedish born women where about 14 percent were childless.

Definitions and explanations

In this study, Statistics Sweden has measured fertility among foreign born women for six different birth-country groups and compared the fertility rate with Swedish born women. The study includes children that the women had in Sweden and children who were born before immigration. The estimations of childbearing before immigration are based on the children who are in Sweden and those who were born before immigration to Sweden. Children born abroad, but who do not come to Sweden, are not included in Statistics Sweden's register and thus are not included in this study.

This study has used the UN's classification of countries outside of Europe by level of development. This classification is called the Human Development Index (HDI), and is based on statistics of life expectancy of the population, gross domestic product (GDP) per inhabitant, and educational level.

Publication

Read more in the report: Childbearing among foreign born – before and after migration to Sweden (Summary in English).

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Statistical agency and producer

Statistics Sweden, Forecast institute
Box 24300
SE-104 51 Stockholm, Sweden


Enquiries

Johan Tollebrant
+46 8 506 949 96
johan.tollebrant@scb.se






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