Migration patterns of parents, children and siblings: Evidence for patrilocality in contemporary Finland

Asim Ghosh, Venla Berg, Kunal Bhattacharya, Daniel Monsivais, Janos Kertesz, Kimmo Kaski, Anna Rotkirch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Family members are known to serve as geographical attractors in migration, yet evidence for sex-biased family migration in developed societies is mixed. We investigate gender differences in migration of family members in Finland. Using the FinnFamily register data set (N = 60,000 index individuals and their close kin), we explore family coresidence and migration within the 19 administrative regions of Finland in 1970–2012. We study the propensity for regional migration by gender and age, the likelihood for children to reside in the same region as their parents and to reunite after migration to different regions, and whether siblings function as regional attractors. Finland experienced intense regional migration to the capital area during the study period. Individual migration propensity peaked at infancy and at 18–28 years. Throughout their lives, most Finns live in the same region as their family members: over 65% with parents, over 55% with full sibling(s), and over 50% with half sibling(s). Siblings are likely to migrate to the same region, and having more siblings strengthens this attraction. Results also indicate some degree of patrilocality. Daughters migrate earlier and with higher rates than sons, whereas sons are at any age more likely to live in the same region as their parents. The propensity for adult brothers to live in the same region is also higher than for other sibling pairs. Family members serve as important geographical attractors to each other through the life course in contemporary Finland, and this is more pronounced for males than for females.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2208
Number of pages14
JournalPopulation, Space and Place
Issue number5
Early online date1 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • family migration
  • internal migration
  • parents
  • siblings


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