A Life Course Perspective on Geographical Distance to Siblings, Parents and Grandparents in Sweden

Martin Kolk, Stockholm University

The kinship network of an individual changes over her life course. This study makes a contribution to kinship research, demography and cultural geography by studying how migration and demographic patterns shape the geographical availability of kin in contemporary Sweden. This study examines how distance to siblings, parents and grandparents change over a person’s life course using longitudinal administrative register data. The study follows the complete 1970 cohort (N=75 000) and all their kin and studies how individuals distance to their kin change from age 10 (1980) to age 37 (2007) by means of data on residence for siblings, parents and grandparents. The study reveals surprising continuity in geographical distance to parents after age 25. Distance to living maternal and paternal grandparents see very minor changes after the index cohort reaches their early 20s. Theories of increasing geographical dispersal of the kinship network as an individual age are not supported.

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Presented in Session 121: Geographic Proximity of Kin