Stockholm University
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First Births in Sweden: Objective and Self-perceived Constraints on Childbearing

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posted on 2021-04-30, 15:04 authored by Sara Ström, Eva Bernhardt
pensities in Sweden from the early 1970s until 2009 is studied. Both objective and subjective measures of these three factors are used. Data is derived from The Swedish Housing and Life Course Cohort Study (HOLK, cohorts born 1956, 1964 and 1974) and the Young Adult Panel Study (YAPS, cohorts born 1968, 1972, 1976, and 1980). The analysis of objective measures indicates that educational attainment is of little importance for first birth propensities while income is of greater importance. Dwelling size is positively related to first birth propensities for all cohorts, while establishment on the housing market matter only for the 1974 cohort. In the analysis of the subjective evaluations of the three factors, having a sufficient income seems to be the most influential, even if having completed one’s education and having a suitable housing situation also have positive effects. We conclude that our analyses give substantial support to the Hobcraft-Kiernan scheme of the necessary preconditions for the transition to parenthood in modern societies. Education, income, and housing are all important prerequisites for having a first birth, both when measured objectively and when we consider the individual’s subjective evaluation of these factors.


Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, grant 2008-0489




Original title

First Births in Sweden: Objective and Self-perceived Constraints on Childbearing

Original language

  • English

Publication date


Affiliation (institution of first SU-affiliated author)

  • 310 Sociologiska institutionen | Department of Sociology