Preprints are manuscripts made publicly available before they have been submitted for formal peer review and publication. They might contain new research findings or data. Preprints can be a draft or final version of an author's research but must not have been accepted for publication at the time of submission.
Abstract: In our study we examined the extent and why specific family
lines die out. We studied the late 19th-century population of the
Skellefteå region of northern Sweden and all their descendants, accounting for
emigration. This was done across four generations who were observed from 1885
to 2007. The first generation in our sample consists of men and women born
between 1885-1899 (N=5,850) and we identify their children, grandchildren and
great-grandchildren. We find that almost half, 48%, of the first generation did
not have any living descendants (great-grandchildren) by the end of the study
period. The risk of a family line ending was driven primarily either by low
fertility or death during reproductive ages in the first generation. Those who
left few descendants in the first generation had increased risks of not having
descendants in later generations. Both high- and low-status occupational groups
had greater levels of not leaving any descendants. Almost all lineages that
made it to the third generation also made it to the fourth generation.