Social class and fertility: A Long-run analysis of Southern Sweden, 1922–2015

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper examines social class differences in fertility, using longitudinal micro-level data for a regionalsample in Sweden, 1922–2015. Using discrete-time event history models, we estimated the associationbetween social class and parity-specific duration to next birth, adjusting for household income in separatemodels. Social class was associated with fertility quite independently from income and the association wasboth parity-dependent and sex-specific. For transitions to parenthood, higher class position wasassociated with higher fertility for men and lower fertility for women before 1970, but then converged intoa positive association for both sexes after 1990. For continued childbearing, a weak U-shaped relationshipbefore 1947 turned into a positive relationship for second births and a negative relationship for higher-order births in the period after 1990. These patterns likely reflect broader changes in work–familycompatibility and are connected to profound shifts in labour markets and institutional arrangements intwentieth-century Sweden.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic History


  • social class, SES, income, fertility, marital fertility, parity-specific fertility, Sweden, event history analysis, population registers
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalPopulation Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020 Sep 10
Publication categoryResearch