Trying to make a living is a study of the economic life of Swedish women 1920 – 1940. The specific case is women living in Gothenburg, the country’s second largest city. In contrast to the dominant view of the Anglo-American experience as the universal model for economic roles of women, this book argues that institutional arrangements particular to specific societies generate different outcomes. Trying to make a living investigates the influence of demographic conditions; such as rising nuptiality and falling nativity, for generating processes that encouraged the emergence of Swedish women into full economic citizenship as articulated through increased female labour market participation. Using gender as a central concept and drawing on a quantitative approach to analyse primary archival materials, the study focuses on how demographic change affected gender conditions in the contested terrain of the labour market, as well as in the institutions governing it.