Stockholm University
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The childbearing of immigrants who arrived as children: Understanding the role of age at arrival for women and men

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posted on 2021-12-30, 13:08 authored by Ben WilsonBen Wilson
It is well known that childbearing is associated with age at migration, but most research has focused on foreign-born women who migrated as adults. Much less is known about immigrants who arrived as children, or male immigrants, despite the importance of studying these groups in order to understand theories of adaptation and assimilation. This study addresses these gaps with a case study of Sweden. It uses longitudinal data for the whole population to analyze the role of age at arrival in determining childbearing. The results suggest that age at arrival has a strong and incremental impact on childbearing, for both women and men, in particular for immigrants from higher fertility origins. This impact is stronger at earlier childbearing ages, and there is little evidence in support of critical ages at arrival. These findings persist after examining sources of selection and reverse causality, including the use of sex-specific family fixed-effects models and separate analyses for specific countries of birth. This case study therefore provides evidence of an underlying process of childhood socialization, followed by adaptation, that is common for women and men who migrate. Theoretical implications are discussed, including the need for further work on determinants and mechanisms of adaptation.


the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement number 948727: REFU-GEN)

the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) via project 2017-01021

the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, RJ) grant registration number M18-0214:1

the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working life and Welfare (FORTE) grant numbers: 2016-07105 and 2018-00310




Original title

The childbearing of immigrants who arrived as children: Understanding the role of age at arrival for women and men

Original language

  • English

Publication date


Affiliation (institution of first SU-affiliated author)

  • 310 Sociologiska institutionen | Department of Sociology