Persons born in Sweden with one or two foreign born parents are a growing group. Between 1970 - 2008 their numbers increased from somewhat more than 300,000 to over 1 million. This means that 7% of Sweden's population today has a foreign-born parent and 4% have two foreign born parents.

Parents' backgrounds have lifelong effects, report other facts from a new report from Statistics Sweden (SCB). The study compares family forming processes, child bearing, migrations, jobs and mortality among persons born in Sweden to foreign born parents.


Persons born in Sweden, whose parents were born abroad, form families that have fewer children than native Swedish peers whose parents were born in Sweden. Moreover, persons with foreign elders have a greater risk of dying at a younger age, plus they have housing problems.

Women and men with parents from countries outside Europe often have a spouse with the same background. They are less inclined to bear children than Swedish born persons with parents born in Sweden. A lower level of education and worse access to the jobs market frequently goes hand in hand with lower fertility.

Both sexes as adults often live in low income areas. They emigrate abroad more often and are less prone to move back to Sweden than Swedish born persons whose parents were both born in Sweden.

The risk of dying is higher for those with two foreign born parents at certain ages, especially among younger ones aged 20 to 29. High school drop outs are higher among students with one or two foreign born parents, and the percentage of gainfully employed persons is lower.

In earlier years, it was most common to have parents born in other Nordic countries, but other backgrounds have become more common.