The Impact of Children on Emigration: A Study of EU-15 Migrants in Sweden

Andreas Raneke, Statistics Sweden

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 union are most common, other reasons such as family or education is important in migration decisions. As immigration from member states of the Union have raised since the Swedish accession, many also returns 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 but also to look into socio-economic determinants of emigration. To analyze this, I use longitudinal population register data on EU-15 migrants in Sweden to apply an event-history analysis. The results suggest that economic integration in Sweden plays an important part as unemployed and having a low income means higher emigration propensities. Having no partner or a partner not born in Sweden means a higher risk of leaving compared to those with a Swedish-born partner, but when information about children is included, having children or not seems to matter more than being in a relationship or not. A closer look at the country of birth of the children shows that having Swedish-born children inhibits 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.

Presented in Session 1078: Posters