Scandinavian Population Studies, Vol. 13. Abstracts

The Census in global perspective and the coming microdata revolution

Robert McCaa
Department of History, University of Minnesota

Steven Ruggles
Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota

On the two hundredth anniversary of the first census of Norway, Denmark, and Iceland it is important to recall the history of the census and of - what to many is a little-known resource for population research - census microdata. The population census became universal only in the last half of the twentieth century. Now, anonymized census microdata is beginning to be recognized as a valuable new source for researchers and policy makers. From a review of practices in the United States and elsewhere, this paper argues that issues of statistical confidentiality and standards for the use of census microdata are rapidly being resolved and that a revolution in usage of these valuable data is already underway.

Reference: In Carling, J., ed. (2002) Nordic demography: Trends and differentials. Scandinavian Population Studies, Vol. 13. Oslo: Unipub forlag / Nordic Demographic Society.

Socio-economic categories in Norwegian censuses up to about 1960

Einar Lie
Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo

This article discusses the development of the socio-economic classification systems in Norwegian population censuses from 1815 to 1960. The early nineteenth-century system was an attempt to classify people according to who they were in terms of social rank and political rights. Through a gradual change during the century, greater emphasis was made on classifying people according to what their jobs were. A new framework for socio-economic classifications was developed in the 1870s. This framework remained in effect with few changes until 1960. The characteristics of this system are analysed in connection with dominant political philosophical and economic ideas, and the system is compared to the British and French classification system of the same period.

Reference: In Carling, J., ed. (2002) Nordic demography: Trends and differentials. Scandinavian Population Studies, Vol. 13. Oslo: Unipub forlag / Nordic Demographic Society.

The changing cause of death pattern among infants, Stockholm 1878-1925

Bo Burström
Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet

Eva M. Bernhardt
Department of Sociology, Stockholm University

Infant and child mortality declined rapidly from high levels around the turn of the 19th century in Stockholm. As part of a larger project aiming at studying the role of specific factors in this decline of mortality, this study describes changes in the cause of death pattern among infants in Södermalm, Stockholm 1878-1925, using individual data from the Roteman Archives (8,455 deaths in 57,000 person-years of follow-up). Infant mortality declined from 200/1000 in the period 1878-1884 to 50/1000 in 1918-1925, largely due to a decline in mortality from diarrhoea and pneumonia/bronchitis. Improved understanding of the causes of the mortality decline in Stockholm may be relevant to interventions to reduce current high levels of infant and child mortality in poor countries, to a great extent caused by diarrhoea and respiratory diseases.

Reference: In Carling, J., ed. (2002) Nordic demography: Trends and differentials. Scandinavian Population Studies, Vol. 13. Oslo: Unipub forlag / Nordic Demographic Society.

Old-age mortality trends in Norway

Helge Brunborg
Division for Social and Demographic Research, Statistics Norway

The mortality of old people in Norway has declined substantially since the 1950s. However, the decline has been much less for the oldest-old than for the younger old ages during the last decades. For the very old, especially men over age 95, there is even a tendency of increasing mortality, unlike in most other countries. Incorporating this in population projections has substantial effects on the number of the oldest-old persons. The paper presents and discusses the development of mortality of the oldest-old in Norway, including some data-quality issues, and how this affects population projections.

Reference: In Carling, J., ed. (2002) Nordic demography: Trends and differentials. Scandinavian Population Studies, Vol. 13. Oslo: Unipub forlag / Nordic Demographic Society.

Influence of migrants on regional variations of ischaemic heart disease mortality in Norway 1991-1994

Erik H. Nymoen
Division for Social and Demographic Research, Statistics Norway

Regional differences in mortality of ischaemic heart disease (IHD) have often been related to characteristics of place of residence at the time of death. Such differences may be misinterpreted if the impact of migrants is not considered. This study examines, presumably for the first time, the impact of migrants on Norwegian regional IHD mortality rates. Age-standardized mortality rates for 1991-1994 among men and women born in Norway during 1907-1946 are computed separately for total population, migrants, and non-migrants. Overall, the migrants have a lower IHD mortality than the non-migrants, but areas was also observed where the difference was in the opposite direction. In some areas the presence of migrants widened regional mortality differences, while in other areas the effect was to narrow such differences. It is concluded that migratory status is relevant when interpreting regional variations in IHD mortality.

Reference: In Carling, J., ed. (2002) Nordic demography: Trends and differentials. Scandinavian Population Studies, Vol. 13. Oslo: Unipub forlag / Nordic Demographic Society.

Changing seasonality of births in Sweden 1900-1999

Per-Gunnar Cassel
Demography Unit, Stockholm University

Monthly data on the number of live births during 1900-1999 were collected from the official statistical publications of Statistics Sweden. Seasonal factors are estimated with US Census Bureau's program X-12-ARIMA. The results, taken together with other studies, support the hypothesis that in Sweden, in Northern Europe, and Canada, the contrasting summer and winter luminosity have molded a basic biological rhythm that results in more children born in early spring and fewer in autumn. This rhythm is modified by the occurrence of festivals and by the increase in length of vacations. The last decade of the century shows a complete break in the seasonality pattern. In the new pattern more children are born in summer. I interpret this phenomenon to mean that young people now plan, to a much higher degree than earlier, at what season they want to have their children.

Reference: In Carling, J., ed. (2002) Nordic demography: Trends and differentials. Scandinavian Population Studies, Vol. 13. Oslo: Unipub forlag / Nordic Demographic Society.

Industrialisation and fertility in a mining district of northern Sweden 1900-1920

Stefan Warg
Department of Historical Studies, Umeå University

In this study the fertility patterns of a mining district of northern Sweden are analysed using two different methods for measuring fertility. By combining the method for fertility measuring based on the demographic indices developed by Ansley Coale with longitudinal analyses based on data from family reconstitutions, a close examination of local patterns is possible. The analysis shows that the expected pattern of high fertility was present in the area at the time of industrialisation. However, the level of fertility declined rapidly, and as early as the 1920s signs of deliberate family planning can be detected. The results of the longitudinal analysis suggests that even though the indices of overall and marital fertility were high, deliberate birth control was being practised in the local population even at the onset of the period of observation. Taken together the results of the two methods indicate that the observed changes in fertility behaviour involved a shift from birth spacing to parity-specific stopping.

Reference: In Carling, J., ed. (2002) Nordic demography: Trends and differentials. Scandinavian Population Studies, Vol. 13. Oslo: Unipub forlag / Nordic Demographic Society.

An overview of recent fertility trends and family policies in Denmark

Lisbeth B. Knudsen
Danish Center for Demographic Research, University of Southern Denmark

From 1963 to 1983 both the total fertility rate and the age-specific fertility rates declined strongly in Denmark. During this period major changes took place in Danish society: Increasing welfare, longer education, increasing female labour force participation and development of new family patterns. Many of the policy measures initiated during this period aimed at establishing a supportive infrastructure necessitated by the female labour market participation. In the subsequent period (1983-1995) public debate focused more on the family, and various political initiatives aimed at the reconciliation of working life and family life. In more recent years also the question of gender equality has been included. This paper presents an overview of recent policy measures and fertility trends in Denmark and concludes that it seems reasonable to assume that the increasing fertility among women over 25 was affected by the family policy.

Reference: In Carling, J., ed. (2002) Nordic demography: Trends and differentials. Scandinavian Population Studies, Vol. 13. Oslo: Unipub forlag / Nordic Demographic Society.

Cohabitation and marriage among young adults in Sweden: Attitudes, expectations and plans

Eva M. Bernhardt
Department of Sociology, Stockholm University

Non-marital coresidential relationships are more widespread in Sweden than in almost all other countries. More than half of all births are extra-marital. Yet, people do continue to get married. Lifelong cohabitation, especially in the presence of children, probably remains a relatively rare phenomenon. Young adults in Sweden overwhelmingly approve of childbearing and childrearing within cohabiting unions. Nevertheless, a majority of those currently living with a partner expect to marry within the next five years. Sending a signal to others that the relationship is a seriously committed one seems to be the most important aspect of getting married. Thus, despite the existence of widespread and widely accepted non-marital cohabitation among young adults in Sweden, there is no indication that marriage will disappear as a social institution. The motivations for marriage may have changed, but the future of marriage does not seem to be in danger.

Reference: In Carling, J., ed. (2002) Nordic demography: Trends and differentials. Scandinavian Population Studies, Vol. 13. Oslo: Unipub forlag / Nordic Demographic Society.

Hem ljuva hem: Cohabitation, marriage, and access to home ownership in Sweden, 1970-1992.

Nathanael Lauster
Sociology Department and Population Studies and Training Center, Brown University

Historical demographic research has uncovered a pre-industrial system of family formation unique to northwestern Europe. Integral to this system was the establishment of property (an independent household) prior to marriage. This paper examines the connection between access to home ownership and union formation in contemporary Sweden. I expect that contextual factors associated with making home ownership more accessible will continue to increase the likelihood of entrance into both cohabitation and marriage. Data to test this relationship come from the Swedish Family Survey of 1992 supplemented by income files and local measures of housing market. I measure access to home ownership through yearly personal income, average selling price of single-family houses, interest rates, inflation rates, and new construction of dwellings. Using hazard models, I find that accessibility to home ownership significantly increases entrance into both cohabitation and marriage. In the modern context, the influence of accessibility to ownership is generally stronger on entrance into cohabitation than on entrance into marriage.

Reference: In Carling, J., ed. (2002) Nordic demography: Trends and differentials. Scandinavian Population Studies, Vol. 13. Oslo: Unipub forlag / Nordic Demographic Society.

Towards gender equality in Norway's young generations?

Kari Skrede
Division for Social and Demographic Research, Statistics Norway

This article surveys the development of the process towards gender equality in Norway, with particular focus on the structural changes that have taken place in the younger generations where the opportunity structures have facilitated more equal gender roles. The analysis is based on register data and focuses on income differences and income development 1993-1995 by gender, family status and educational attainment for birth cohorts 1961-1973. The findings indicate that the gains in gender equality in the labour market have been relatively meagre. Income increases with higher levels of education for both genders, but considerably more for young males than for young females, also when childless men and women are compared. However, also the family formation process is an important determinant for the formation of opportunity structures in early adulthood. Here, the analyses indicate a development towards increased autonomy for women at the family level.

Reference: In Carling, J., ed. (2002) Nordic demography: Trends and differentials. Scandinavian Population Studies, Vol. 13. Oslo: Unipub forlag / Nordic Demographic Society.

Language and partner selection in Finland

Fjalar Finnäs
Institutet för finlandssvensk samhällsforskning

This study is based on a large data set including information on places of residence for both partners in a couple before and after their formation of a common union, as well as a number of background variables. The focus is on the languages of the partners. The initial purpose was to measure preferences after having eliminated the effect of the structural conditions in the marriage market. However, the empirical studies showed that it was not possible to determine relevant local marriage markets in practice, since evidently the Swedish- and Finnish- speaking persons living in the same place have different marriage markets. The data could still be used to illustrate interesting differences between various groups. The most interesting empirical finding is that among Swedish speakers bilingual unions are much more common among those with a low level of education than among the higher educated.

Reference: In Carling, J., ed. (2002) Nordic demography: Trends and differentials. Scandinavian Population Studies, Vol. 13. Oslo: Unipub forlag / Nordic Demographic Society.

Dissolved families - A prospective longitudinal cohort study of family strain before parental separation following schoolchildren born in Denmark 1973

Mogens N. Christoffersen
The Danish National Institute of Social Research

The present study examines the situation in the family preceding a family separation to identify risk factors for family dissolution. Information in registers covering prospective statistics about health aspects, demographic variables, family violence, self-destructive behaviour, unemployment, and the spousal income ratio was analysed using a discrete-time Cox-model. The results indicate that mental disorder, substance abuse, and self-destructive and violent behaviour increase the risk of family separations. However, these high-risk factors are not widespread and therefore contribute to few separations. Unemployment, teenage-motherhood, cohabitation, or having four or more children represent a minor increased risk but, nevertheless, a more widespread risk and, consequently, contribute to several of the family separations. Separation rates are significantly higher in the metropolitan area than elsewhere. About 36 per cent of the family separations can be explained by these risk factors, when standardised for other risk factors.

Reference: In Carling, J., ed. (2002) Nordic demography: Trends and differentials. Scandinavian Population Studies, Vol. 13. Oslo: Unipub forlag / Nordic Demographic Society.

Surnames as proxies for place of origin in the 1801 census for Norway

Sølvi Sogner
Department of History, University of Oslo

Gunnar Thorvaldsen
The Norwegian Historical Data Centre University of Tromsø

As part of a three-volume publication on the history of immigration to Norway, Sølvi Sogner writes about the period before 1815. The 1801 nominative census is the period's major cross-sectional source for population studies, but regrettably it gives no direct information on birthplace. In order to compensate for this, the family names in the digital version have been grouped according to onomastic criteria, and non-Norwegian names classified by national origin. On this basis, a tentative regional distribution of immigrants during early modern times has been mapped.

Reference: In Carling, J., ed. (2002) Nordic demography: Trends and differentials. Scandinavian Population Studies, Vol. 13. Oslo: Unipub forlag / Nordic Demographic Society.

International migration and return migration of Swedish engineers before 1930 and in the 1990s

Per-Olof Grönberg
Department of Historical Studies, Umeå University

Emigration of engineers is a historical phenomenon and acquiring experiences is one of the major forces behind it. Engineers go abroad to a smaller extent today than before 1930. The destination pattern has been altered. The dominance of America and Germany is smaller today, and particularly Asia and Western Europe have become important. Swedish-born engineers return to a smaller extent today than in the beginning of the 20th century, but rates are still considerable. Before 1930, the highest rates are noted for nearby countries, especially Germany. Historically, electrical engineers and naval architects were most prone to return. Some returned engineers became important for Swedish companies. In the ongoing discussion about 'brain-drain', we can use the historical knowledge to concentrate on what we can do in order to make the best use of the experiences brought back instead of emphasising actions in order to make well-educated people stay at home.

Reference: In Carling, J., ed. (2002) Nordic demography: Trends and differentials. Scandinavian Population Studies, Vol. 13. Oslo: Unipub forlag / Nordic Demographic Society.

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