The impact of children on emigration: A study of EU-15 migrants in Sweden
preprintposted on 12.03.2021, 15:41 by Andreas Raneke
The freedom of movement within the European Union is one of the pillars in which the EU is built and is encouraged as a mean to create a European citizenship. Even though economic reasons for moving within the EU are often common, other reasons such as family or education is important in migration decisions. As immigration from member states of the Union have risen since the Swedish accession, many also return to their country of origin and emigration rates from Sweden are high. Besides economic reasons for leaving Sweden, the family context also plays an important role in immigrants’ decision to emigrate. The aim of this study is to explore what impact family life and especially the presence of children might have on out-migration together with socio-economic determinants of emigration. To analyze this, I use longitudinal population register data on EU-15 migrants in Sweden and applied event-history analysis. The results suggest that economic integration in Sweden plays an important part as being unemployed and having low income is associated with higher emigration propensities. Having no partner or a partner not born in Sweden is associated with a higher risk of leaving the country compared to those with a Swedish-born partner, but when information about children is included, having children seems to matter more than being in a relationship. A closer look at the country of birth of the children shows that having Swedish-born children inhibits the parents’ emigration, while having foreign-born children increases the probability to emigrate. The results indicate that having a Swedish-born child provides motives to stay on in Sweden.