Registration of immigrants’ educational attainment in Sweden: An analysis of sources and time
preprintposted on 15.10.2020, 15:15 by Samaneh Khaef
Swedish register data includes a number of variables related to individuals’ educational level. In contrast to many other countries, the register even includes information on the education obtained by immigrants outside of Sweden. For studies on immigrant labor market integration, this is an important asset. However, the quality of data on the highest educational levels of immigrants is less well known. This paper investigates the sources of information for immigrant educational levels and examines the time to registration of education. Employing register data on immigrants who arrived in Sweden in the period of 2000–2016, it shows that the “survey of foreign-born” and the Swedish public employment service are the two major sources of information for immigrant education in the year of arrival. However, the non-response rate from the survey is high and both sources are based on self-reporting. The study applies event history analysis and shows that as the length of stay in the country increases, the share of immigrants with missing educational information notably decreases, especially after two years, with variations among different groups of immigrants. Refugees and family-reunification immigrants, women, and younger immigrants are registered to a higher extent than other groups up to ten years after arrival. Data measured two years after immigration provide a reasonably good coverage of the educational characteristics at the time if migration.