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'Birthplace Sweden but differences remain'

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15:10 CEST+02:00
Swedish-born children of foreign-born parents are faced with lifelong challenges that differ greatly from those faced by people with two Swedish-born parents, a new report from Statistics Sweden (SCB) shows.

The SCB report entitled "Born in Sweden - still different? The importance of parents' country of birth," has studied family and childbirth patterns, mortality and movements of people born in Sweden who have foreign-born parents.

The report indicates that Swedes with foreign parents less inclined to start families, suffer lower life expectancy, live in less prosperous areas and are more likely to move out of Sweden than people of Swedish ancestry.

"Women and men with parents from countries outside of Europe often choose a partner with the same background. They are less inclined to have children than children of Sweden-born parents," the report states.

The group are more inclined to move overseas and not return and are more likely to live in lower income areas if they do stay in Sweden, SCB figures show.

Being the offspring of parents born outside of Sweden also impacts on how long a Sweden-born man or woman can expect to live.

"In certain ages the fatality risk is higher for those with two foreign-born parents. This is especially clear among among children and those aged 20-29," the report states.

There are also differences in educational achievement and status in the workplace, with children of foreign-born parents less likely to complete high school. They are shown to be less likely to achieve senior positions in the workplace and more likely to be employed in jobs for which they are overqualified.

The number of Swedish-born people with at least one foreign-born parent is rising, with the number expanding from 300,000 in 1970 to over a million in 2008. Seven percent of Sweden's population currently has one foreign-born parent and four percent have two.

"In the group where both parents are born outside of Sweden it has previously been more common for the parents to have been born in another Scandinavian country, but now the group with both parents born outside of Europe is larger," said Lotta Persson at SCB to The Local on Wednesday.

Persson told The Local however that the group with one parent born overseas is still greater for those with a parent born in one of the other Scandinavian countries.

While Statistics Sweden figures subdivide the groups further into birth country, the group "children of foreign-born parents" (either one or both) in this report applies to a place of birth in any country outside of Sweden, including Scandinavia and Europe, unless otherwise stated.

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