The transition to adulthood of Russian migrants in Estonia – An origin-destination comparison

Katrin Schwanitz, University of Turku

How the transition to adulthood unfolds for migrants is an important indicator of the socio-cultural integration into the host society. Despite increasing scientific interest in the topic, research that is centered on the historically rooted geography of migration flows between Russia and the neighboring European countries is scarce. A better understanding of migrants’ family lives and of the inequalities of opportunities between the migrant and native populations can provide helpful input for social policy programs. Using census data from Estonia and Russia in 2010 and 2011 and applying a synthetic cohort approach, we conduct origin-destination comparisons of second-generation Russian migrants’ transition to adulthood. We examine if and how these different country contexts produced very different timing, sequencing, and heterogeneity patterns among men and women aged 15-35 and to what extent second-generation Russian migrants are (dis)similar to young adults in the origin and destination country. First results indicate signs of convergence between second-generation Russian migrants and native Estonians; these are particularly evident among women and with respect to the family transitions (union entry and parenthood). Dissimilarities in the timing, sequencing, and heterogeneity in the transition to adulthood play out mainly in the non-family transitions (education completion, labor force entry, residential independence).

Keywords: Migrant populations, Life course analysis, Census data, Family demography

See paper.

  Presented in Session 55. Life Course Approaches to the Transition to Adulthood