Fertility Intentions across Immigrant Generations in Sweden. Do Patterns of Adaptation Differ by Gender and Origin?

  • Erik Carlsson Stockholm University. Department of Sociology Sweden
Keywords: Fertility intentions, Immigrants, Second generation, 1.5 generation, Swedish Generations, Gender Survey


In being representative of individuals’ demographic value orientations, fertility preferences provide information about immigrants’ adaptation to family formation patterns in the destination country at a deeper, ideational level than actual fertility does. Using data from Wave 1 of the Swedish GGS from 2012/2013 (n=3,932), this study compares the first, 1.5, and second generations with either one or two foreign-born parent(s) to Swedes without an immigrant background by gender and across origins. Binary logistic regression is used to compare the propensity to state a positive fertility intention, and partial proportional odds models are used to analyse differences across four ordinal intention categories (definitely/probably yes/no). Results show a general tendency towards convergence from the relatively positive intentions of the first generation to levels closer to non-immigrants in later generations, although complete convergence is only found for the second generation with one foreign-born parent. There are gender differences, with women being similar to non-immigrants by the 1.5 generation, while there is no clear intergenerational trend for men. Among origin groups, convergence is evident among Eastern Europeans and “other non-Europeans”, while Westerners already are similar to non-immigrants in the first generation, and Middle Easterners/North Africans display no clear intergenerational trend. This study contributes to the understanding of immigrant fertility by showing that there often is intergenerational adaptation at the ideational (i.e. preference) level, that the pace and extent of convergence vary by gender and across origins, and that group-level patterns found for fertility intentions do not always match those found in earlier research on fertility behaviour.


*    This article belongs to a special issue on migrant fertility.

How to Cite
Carlsson, E. 2019. Fertility Intentions across Immigrant Generations in Sweden. Do Patterns of Adaptation Differ by Gender and Origin?. Comparative Population Studies. 43, (Feb. 2019).
Research Articles