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Marriage and Family Formation Among Urban In-Migrants in Antwerp and Stockholm A Longitudinal Approach to Social Integration, 1846-1926. Paul Puschmann 1 , Per- Olof Grönberg ² , Reto Schumacher ³ & Koen Matthijs ⁴

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Marriage and Family Formation Among Urban In-Migrants in Antwerp and StockholmA Longitudinal Approach to Social Integration, 1846-1926

Paul Puschmann1, Per-OlofGrönberg², RetoSchumacher³& KoenMatthijs⁴

¹PhD. Fellow at Research Foundation Flanders (FWO); FaPoS, KU Leuven; Belgium.

²Centre for Population Studies, Umeå University; Sweden.

³NCCR Lives and Institute for Demographic and Life Course Studies, University of Geneva; Switzerland.

FaPoS, KU Leuven; Belgium.

To be Presented at the Fourth Urban Demography Network Meeting,

Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR)

Rostock , Germany; 2-May 2012

migration and integration in western european cities 1850 1930
Migration and Integration in Western European Cities, 1850-1930
  • Growing numbers of urban in-migrants in Western European cities
  • Causes of increase in urban in-migration:
    • Agricultural crisis, population pressure in the countryside, gradual destruction of putting-out system
    • Growing demand for laborers in urban environment: industry; commerce, services
    • Working and living conditions in cities improve: Industry offers more permanent employment; more rights for laborers; cities become healthier places.
  • Fate of Urban Newcomers:
    • Chicago School of Sociology: Newcomers end up on the edge of society
    • Scholars who stress selectivity of migration: Integration of specific groups of newcomers, notably stayers and long-distance migration went rather smoothly.
a longitudinal approach to integration
A Longitudinal Approach to Integration
  • Major methodological shortcomings in existing literature:
    • Chicago school of Sociology: Too problem-orientated
    • Cross-sectional analysis of integration: Biased view toward stayers.
  • Advantages of Longitudinal Approach
    • Integration is a longitudinal process
    • Majority of migrants can be included
    • More accurate techniques (event-history, sequence anlaysis, etc.) to measure demographic events (person years vs. persons)
access to marriage and reproduction as measures of social integration
Access to Marriage and Reproduction as Measures of Social Integration
  • How did the social integration process of different groups of migrants evolve?
    • Did some groups of migrants integrate easier than others?
    • Are there differences regarding the integration process between Antwerp and Stockholm?
    • Which characteristics of migrants stimulated or hampered integration?
    • Were there differences in societal openness between Antwerp and Stockholm?
    • Did industrialization encourage integration?
  • Social Integration: the ability of migrants to find their way in the city
  • Timing and incidence of marriage as Measures of Social-Integration.
  • Underlying assumption: time between arrival and marriage and family formation reflects the time it takes for newcomers to find, amongst other things, a good job, a decent living location and a suited marriage partner.
two different types of growing port cities
Two Different Types of Growing Port Cities
  • Communalities
    • Antwerp and Stockholm experienced considerable population growth, because of declining mortality and rising in-migration
    • Both cities were port cities
  • Differences
    • Stockholm went through a process of industrialization; in Antwerp industrialization hardly took root.
    • In Stockholm the port played only a minor role in the city’s economy. In Antwerp the port dominated the whole city’s economy.
    • Stockholm was a capital city, Antwerp was not.
data methods
Data & Methods

Antwerp Stockholm

Based on: Based on:

Population registers The ‘Roteman’ registration system

Vital registration of births, marriages and deaths

33,583 life-courses Information on all inhabitants

Intra- and intergeneration comparisons Intra- and intergeneration comparisons

Contains information on: Contains information on:

Socio-economic and demographic characteristics Socio-economic and demographic characteristics

Household composition Household composition

Kin inside and outside the household Kin inside the household

Marriage witnesses

Allows to follow moves in the area Allows to follow moves in the area

Disrtete-time event history analysis

Failure events: first marriage; first birth

Censoring: death, out migration, end of registration

life table estimator and plotted survival curves

Discrete time logit models

survival curves
Survival Curves

Time toMarriage Time to First Birth


adult years since arrivaladult years since arrival


adult years since arrival adult years since arrival

discrete time survival models of marriage and first observed birth among unmarried migrants
Discrete-time survival models of marriage and first observed birth among unmarried migrants

Antwerp Stockholm

discussion conclusion
Discussion & Conclusion

Higher incidences of marriage and reproduction among migrants in Antwerp. Was Antwerp more open to newcomers?

Clear connection between age at arrival and Integration: The younger someone arrived the better the chances were for marriage and family formation

Industrialization did not increase access to marriage and reproduction; Industrialization did not facilitate integration. In Antwerp the chances of getting married grew over time in the absence of large-scale industrialization. Notwithstanding, large scale industrialization the chances of marrying among Stockholm’s migrants decreased over time.

No big gender differences: Only better chances for males to get married in Stockholm

In Antwerp and Stockholm the likelihood of getting married was smaller among international migrants (except Russians in Stockholm). International migrants had more trouble in getting integrated. Were they less attractive?

No significant difference in access to reproduction in Antwerp according to the migrants’ region of origin. In the case of Stockholm, international migrants did have a much higher probability of experiencing the birth of a first child.

In the case of Antwerp, no clear relationship between social class and marriage and start of reproduction. In the case of Stockholm: Middle class and upper class migrants had higher chances of getting married, but a lower chances of experiencing a first birth

The timing and incidence of the first marriage might be a better indicator of integration than the onset of reproduction in the period we studied: Decreased chances of experiencing a first birth might say more about birth control practices than about access to reproduction, especially in the case of Stockholm.

Correlation between bad registration of in and out-migration on the one hand and access to marriage and reproduction on the other hand: Statistical artifact or historical reality?