Findings

The War and the Future of Ukraine’s Population

Hill Kulu, Sarah Christison, Chia Liu and Júlia Mikolai

This study analyses the effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 on the future of Ukraine’s population. We conduct a series of population projections with different assumptions on the number of casualties and refugees, and the refugees’ likelihood of return by different political scenarios. Our projections show that if current demographic trends continue, Ukraine’s population is projected to decline by 16% over the next two decades and to become older. These trends are largely driven by past and current demographic developments: continued very low fertility and large-scale emigration at the turn of the century. With war casualties and a large portion of the Ukrainian population seeking safety abroad from the conflict, the country’s population is projected to decline by 33%. The decline would be even larger among the working-age population and children. Russia’s invasion will not only lead to immense human and economic costs in Ukraine in the present, but also carries long-term demographic repercussions.

The working paper can be found here.

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Childbearing Across the Generations of Immigrants and their Descendants in Sweden: A Register-Based Study

Andreas Höhn, Gunnar Andersson, Hill Kulu, and Brad Campbell

Immigrants and their descendants increasingly shape fertility patterns of childbearing in most European countries. While childbearing among first-generation immigrants is well explored, there is a clear lack of knowledge surrounding childbearing among second-generation immigrants. Using Swedish register data, we studied differences in fertility outcomes between first-generation immigrants, second-generation immigrants, and the native Swedish population. We studied men and women separately, distinguished a number of country-of-origin backgrounds and differentiated whether the descendants of immigrants were offspring from endogamous or exogamous relationships (“2.5 Generation”). For most migrants who arrived in Sweden as adults, we found elevated first-birth rates shortly after arrival. First-birth rates were generally lower among descendants of two migrants compared to the native Swedes. First-birth rates among the descendants of one foreign-born parent were very similar to those of native Swedes. Second-birth rates showed little variation among all population subgroups; second-birth rates were generally lower among immigrants and their descendants compared to the native Swedish population. Third-birth rates showed higher levels of polarization, reflecting the established high- and low-fertility backgrounds. Our results indicate that fertility among second-generation immigrants is drifting away from patterns observed among their first-generation counterparts as increasingly resembles patterns of the native Swedish population.

The working paper can be found here.

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Partnership, fertility, and employment trajectories of immigrants in the UK: A three-channel sequence analysis

Júlia Mikolai and Hill Kulu

This study investigates how partnership, fertility, and employment changes interact in the lives of migrants. Although there is a large literature on migrant family and employment, no studies have explored the complex linkages between these life domains of migrants. We use large scale longitudinal data from the UK and apply multi-channel sequence analysis to establish the main types of joint trajectories of partnership, fertility, and employment among immigrants in the UK. We find three types of joint trajectories. Immigrants in the first group (‘single, childless, students’) arrive as and largely remain single and childless and are either in education, or part-time employment when they arrive. The second group (‘partnered, childless, full-time employed’) consists of immigrants who arrived as single and childless but later became partnered and parents. They are largely in full-time employment. Finally, the third group represents family migrants; individuals in this group arrived as married and half of them also already had at least one child at the time of arrival. Five years after migration, almost all of them are married and have become parents. Individuals in this group are either employed or inactive. Our further analysis reveals significant differences in employment patterns between migrant men and women. While most men are in education or in full-time employment after arrival in the UK, a large share of women stay inactive, especially among family migrants.

The working paper can be found here.

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Family trajectories among immigrants and their descendants in three European countries 

Hill Kulu, Júlia Mikolai, Isaure Delaporte, Chia Liu, Gunnar Andersson

This study investigates partnership changes and childbearing among immigrant women and men and their descendants born in the UK, France and Germany. While there is a growing literature on immigrant families in Europe, little (if any) research has examined their fertility and partnership histories in tandem. We focus on two critical stages of individuals’ family life course: pathways to family formation (e.g., transitions from singlehood to cohabitation, marriage or a birth outside of a union), and the evolution of individuals’ family lives once they are in a union (e.g., having a(nother) child or experiencing union dissolution). We apply a series of competing-risks Poisson regression models to combined longitudinal data from the three countries. Our analysis shows significant diversity in partnership trajectories among immigrants and their descendants in Europe that in many cases vary more by migration origin than destination. Immigrants from other European countries and their descendants cohabit prior to marriage and their fertility levels in unions are often similar to those of ancestral natives. In contrast, South Asians in the UK and the Turkish population in France and Germany exhibit marriage-centred family behaviour with low separation levels and elevated third-birth rates. Individuals of sub-Saharan African or the Caribbean origin display higher levels of non-marital family transitions. The differences between migrant groups persist when adjusting for educational level and number of siblings. Further, the analyses show that migration background is particularly associated with partnership patterns, whereas the country context in destination does influence patterns in childbearing behaviour. This suggests that cultural-normative as well as structural factors are at play in shaping family trajectories of immigrants and their descendants. We predict some patterns to persist across future migrant generations (e.g., preference for marriage vs cohabitation), whereas others are likely to vanish (e.g., large families).

The working paper can be found here.

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First comes marriage or first comes carriage? Family trajectories for immigrants in Germany

Chia Liu and Hill Kulu

Immigrant families are often unique from those of non-immigrant families in Europe. We look at family decisions from the individual’s point of view by focusing on whether they live together with a partner, have a child, or get married first. The order of these events often provides insights on the family ideology of the individual, an invaluable piece of information in studying the integration or persistent segmentation of those with recent family migration history in the destination society. We use the German Socio-economic Panel (GSOEP) to explore the differences in family formation among those of immigrant and non-immigrant backgrounds in Germany. We focus on the first step into family life, whether it’s through cohabitation, marriage or becoming a parent, for people born between 1970 and 1999. Since immigrants often face circumstances related to migration which can hinder (delayed parenthood due to economic precarity) or promote family processes (hastened marriage with partner to facilitate family migration), we further separate those who migrated as adults (first-generation), as children (1.5-generation) and those who were born in Germany but have at least one parent who is an immigrant (second generation) to pin down differences by origin. Our study reveals that for all groups, cohabitation is growing in importance as the first step into family life, but the changes differ in pace and magnitude for individuals of different migration background and migrant generation. Those with Turkish background, regardless of whether or not they were born in Germany, remain to show high levels of marriage, and low levels of pre-marital childbearing.

The working paper can be found here.

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The intersection of partnership and fertility trajectories of immigrants and their descendants in the United Kingdom: A multilevel multistate event history approach

Júlia Mikolai and Hill Kulu

In the past, natives and immigrants had similar pathways to family formation: they married first and had children within marriage, but immigrants typically had more children. With increasing family diversity, natives and migrants may experience different partnership and fertility trajectories. For example, one group may marry first and then have children within marriage, whereas another group may cohabit first, have a child, marry, and have another child. Yet another group may have children in a relationship but separate thereafter. To study whether immigrants and their descendants in the UK have similar partnership and fertility trajectories to the natives (defined as individuals with two UK-born parents), we use nationally representative longitudinal data. Our results show that there is significant heterogeneity in family trajectories among immigrants and their descendants in the UK. Immigrants and their descendants from geographically close and culturally similar countries (e.g., Europe/West) have similar family trajectories to the natives: many cohabit first and then have children and/or marry. By contrast, those from countries with conservative family behaviours (e.g., South Asia) marry first and then have children. Women from the Caribbean region either tend to have a child outside of a relationship of form a relationship first and then have children. These patterns hold for younger and older generations alike. Our findings highlight persistent differences in the family formation pathways of natives, immigrants, and their descendants in the UK.

The working paper can be found here.

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Fertility and Partnership Changes among Immigrants and their Descendants in France

Isaure Delaporte and Hill Kulu

Do immigrants and their descendants exhibit similar or rather different family patterns than French natives? To answer this question, we use rich longitudinal survey data from France and examine individuals’ fertility and partnership trajectories. Our results show important differences in family behaviour between immigrants, their descendants and French natives (individuals with two French-born parents). Immigrants born in the 1950s-60s, especially from North Africa and Turkey, are more likely than natives to experience an early and longstanding marriage and have relatively large families. Pre-marital cohabitation has become common among individuals born in the 1970s-80s; however, immigrants are still significantly less likely to cohabit prior to marriage than the native-born population. Most immigrants’ descendants exhibit family patterns similar to those of natives. However, there are still significant differences across population groups: the descendants of North African and Turkish immigrants are likely to have relatively large families. Overall, they exhibit more conservative family behaviour than other groups. By contrast, the descendants of Southern Europeans are the closest to the natives in their family behaviour. Our results support increasing similarities between natives and individuals with immigrant family background over generations, however, there is still significant diversity across the population subgroups.

The working paper can be found here.