European Journal of Population

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 189–210 | Cite as

Use It or Save It? Migration Background and Parental Leave Uptake in Sweden

  • Eleonora MussinoEmail author
  • Ann-Zofie Duvander


Sweden is a welfare state with a family policy that strongly emphasizes equality without distinction by place of birth or gender. In this study, we investigate the differences in uptake of parental leave between native and immigrant mothers, and the connection to labour-market attachment. Sweden represents a unique case study, not only because of the strong effort to combine work and family for all women and men, the high level of fertility and the large presence of immigrants in the country; it also enables a detailed and sophisticated analysis based on the high-quality data derived from its population registers. We find that immigrant mothers use more parental leave benefit the first year after their child’s birth, but then fewer in the second year compared with native mothers. The differences diminish when labour-market activity is controlled for. Additionally, after a time in Sweden, immigrant mothers use leave more similarly to how native mothers do.


Parental leave Sweden Integration Immigrants 



This study was partly funded by the Swedish Research Council through the Swedish Initiative for Research on Microdata in the Social and Medical Sciences (SIMSAM) and partly by the Family Dynamics in Europe (SPaDE), Grant Registration Number 349-2007-8701. We are very grateful to the anonymous referees and Helga De Valk who through their valuable suggestions have enabled us to greatly improve the article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Demography Unit, Department of SociologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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