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Statistical news from Statistics Sweden

2010-05-26 9:30 AM Nr 2010:139

Demographic Analysis:

Born in Sweden – but still so different

Parents' backgrounds have lifelong effects. Persons born in Sweden, whose parents were born abroad, form families that have children to a lesser extent than persons born in Sweden whose parents were also born here. They also have a greater risk of dying at a younger age and have other housing in migration patterns.

A new report from Statistics Sweden studies family forming processes, childbearing, migrations, and mortality among persons born in Sweden to foreign-born parents. Differences in education and the labour market have also been studied.

Bearing fewer children

Women and men with parents from countries outside of Europe often have a partner with the same background. They have a lesser inclination to have children than Swedish-born persons with parents born in Sweden. A lower level of education and worsened connection to the labour market usually means lower fertility. Despite the due consideration to differences in these areas, the differences remain.

Often live in low income areas

As adults they more often live in low income areas. They emigrate abroad more often and show less inclination to move back to Sweden than Swedish-born persons whose parents were both born in Sweden.

Higher mortality

The risk of dying is higher for those with two foreign-born parents at certain ages. This is especially clear among children and in the group aged 20 to 29. It is quite probable that there are social economic explanations to this. For example, the percentage of persons that do not complete upper secondary education is higher among students who were born in Sweden to one or two foreign-born parents. There are also differences in the labour market. The percentage of gainfully employed persons is lower and persons with foreign-born parents seldom have upper management positions and are more often overqualified for their jobs.

A growing group

Persons born in Sweden with one or two foreign-born parents are a growing group. Between 1970 and 2008 their number increased from somewhat more than 300 000 to over 1 million. This means that 7 percent of Sweden's population today have a foreign-born parent and 4 percent have two foreign-born parents. In earlier years it was most common to have parents born in other Nordic countries, but other backgrounds have become more common over time.

Definitions and explanations

The study is based on information from different registers at Statistics Sweden. Swedish-born persons with foreign-born parents are a heterogeneous group. Many of the reports and analyses provide this group into smaller groups based on the parents' countries of birth.


More detailed information can be found in the Statistical Report


Statistikansvarig myndighet och producent

Statistics Sweden, Forecast Institute
Box 24 300
SE- 104 51 Stockholm


Lotta Persson
46 8 506 942 11

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