What influences migrant fertility in Sweden?

eleonora mussino highres
Eleonora Mussino. Photo: Leila Zoubir/Stockholm University.

Author: Amber Beckley

Dr. Eleonora Mussino, Associate Professor of Demography & Sociology at Stockholm University, received 3.63 million kronor for a three-year project on migrant fertility. This was a great accomplishment as less than 9% of all submitted proposals were funded. I sat down to chat with Dr. Mussino about her upcoming projects.

Your project is called, ”Influences of origin and
destination on migrant fertility.” Who are the migrants you will be studying and what will you be looking for?

Our focus with this project is on migrants coming from Eastern and Southern European countries. We focus on migrants from these countries is because, on average, women in those countries would like to have two children but they tend to have just over one child. On the contrary, in Sweden fertility is almost two children per woman. We are trying to see whether women from these low childbearing countries, once they move to Sweden, are able to reach their ideal number of children.

Why would we expect women who migrate from low birth countries to have more children in Sweden?

In Sweden, we have policies that lessen the consequences of having children in areas such as employment and income. Sweden’s generous parental leave system helps both parents balance family life and work. In Sweden, you also can easily return to work after having had a child because your job is held for you and there is state supplemented childcare.

Why do we want to learn about what influences migrant fertility?

The main reason we want to learn about what influences migrant fertility is to learn about migrant’s integration in general. For women, the timing and number of children might relate to things like whether or not you work and how far you go in education. So it is a direct and indirect measure of their integration.

Dr. Mussino will be joined on this project by research fellows at the Demography Unit at the Department of Sociology, Dr. Caroine Uggla, Dr. Ben Wilson, and Dr. Marianne Tønnesson. She will also be joined by Dr. Stefano Cantalini, Researcher at the University of Milan.


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