Hybrid Format

Using Register Data to Study Heterogeneity in Kinship Structures: Socioeconomic Status, Nativity, and Age

Linus Andersson
Research Group: Kinship Inequalities, January 18, 2023

Linus Andersson from Stockholm University discussed the possibilities — as well as the many caveats — of generating genealogies using register data.


Research on the demographic aspects of kin has drawn on a range of data, from archeological evidence to vital statistics and surveys. In this talk, Linus Andersson discussed the possibilities — as well as the many caveats — of generating genealogies using register data. He argued that register-based research on kinship can invigorate traditional topics of inquiry in the social sciences, such as social stratification and integration. In particular, he suggested that register data should be used to improve analyzes based on hypotheses regarding the impact of kin on a given outcome, as it enables a much-needed focus on the composition of kin structures and population-level heterogeneity therein.

He presented three applications of using Swedish register data to analyze kin descriptively. The first study analyzes how kinship structures and size differ across socioeconomic status. The second study examines kinship structure in terms of nativity and migrant history. The third study presents heterogeneity in age-dependency ratios within kinship structures. He closed with some open-ended questions on potential synergies between register data and other approaches to kinship research.


Linus Andersson is a Researcher at the Swedish Institute for Social Research at Stockholm University and the University of Turku. Current work includes analyzing trends in partnering and fertility in the Nordic countries within his project funded by the Swedish Research Council and within the FLUX project based at the University of Turku. He also studies kinship demography using register data, with the aim of understanding the shape of contemporary kinship networks and if/how kinship structures influence life chances. He has a broad interest in population theory, fertility, family regimes, kinship, and household structure in historical and contemporary societies.

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.