Opposites Attract: Assortative Mating and Immigrant–Native Intermarriage in Modern Sweden

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Opposites Attract: Assortative Mating and Immigrant–Native Intermarriage in Modern Sweden

Opposites Attract: Assortative Mating and Immigrant–Native Intermarriage in Modern Sweden


This paper studies exactly exactly how immigrant–native intermarriages in Sweden are related to specific faculties of indigenous people and habits of assortative mating. Habits of educational- and age-assortative mating which are just like the ones that are in native–native marriages may mirror openness to immigrant teams, whereas assortative mating patterns that suggest status factors claim that nation of delivery will continue to serve as a boundary into the marriage market that is native. The research makes use of Swedish register data which cover the complete Swedish populace when it comes to amount Woosa dating of 1991–2009. The outcomes from binomial and multinomial logistic regressions show that low status of natives with regards to financial and demographic traits is connected with intermarriage and therefore intermarriages are seen as a academic and age heterogamy more than are native–native marriages. The findings suggest that immigrant ladies along with immigrant males be a little more appealing wedding lovers if they're significantly younger than their native partners. This will be especially real for intermarriages with immigrants from certain elements of beginning, such as for example spouses from Asia and Africa and husbands from Asia, Africa, together with Middle East. Gender variations in the intermarriage habits of indigenous both women and men are interestingly tiny.


A feature that is distinct of wedding areas is homogamy in spousal option. Lovers are comparable pertaining to status that is socioeconomicKalmijn 1991), age (van Poppel et al. 2001), training, competition, and faith (Blackwell and Lichter 2004). While there is increasing similarity in particular traits such as for example training and age over a few years (Schwartz and Mare 2005; Van de Putte et al. 2009), there is a reduction in homogamy when it comes to nation of delivery throughout the increase of intermarriages between natives and immigrants in European countries. Footnote 1 Scholars frequently learn immigrant–native intermarriage within the context of immigrant integration and regularly regard intermarriage because the step that is final the assimilation procedure (Gordon 1964). an extremely neglected facet of this is certainly that “it takes two to tango”: it needs the maximum amount of willingness in the section of natives to intermarry since it does regarding the section of immigrants. This study addresses an interest which have hitherto been understudied for the reason that it analyses the (inter-)marriage behavior of indigenous Swedes. Footnote 2 centering on the indigenous bulk expands the intermarriage literary works and results in a significantly better comprehension of societal openness towards minorities into the majority’s wedding market. The characteristics of both the native partner and the immigrant partner, this paper is an important contribution to the intermarriage literature by taking into account. Intermarriage is frequently considered to signal the fact various social teams consider each other as equals (cf. Kalmijn 1991), but wedding also can replicate hierarchies that are social excluding specific teams through the pool of possible lovers and reproducing social structures within these. Where intermarriages show systematic habits of hypergamy and hypogamy, this is certainly, indigenous lovers marry up or down in traits such as for example age and education, it may be determined that the partners don't consider one another as social equals (Merton 1941). Intermarriage habits consequently have actually the possible to show implicit hierarchies of immigrants within the wedding market. Footnote 3

The specific concern that this paper tries to response is whether intermarriages are from the status of native Swedes aswell as that of immigrants into the Swedish wedding market. This study contributes to a previously understudied area in the intermarriage literature by analysing the individual characteristics of natives that are associated with intermarriage as well as the educational- and age-assortative mating patterns of intermarried couples rather than the mere frequency of such unions. It makes use of register that is high-quality within the whole populace of residents in Sweden and includes all marriages and non-marital unions with typical kids that have been created in the time scale 1991–2009.

Background and Previous Research on Immigrant–Native Intermarriages in European countries and Sweden

Intermarriage between immigrants and natives has grown generally in most countries in europe in previous years and it is closely associated with the percentage of immigrants in the nation (Lanzieri 2012). This basic boost in intermarriage in European countries is basically linked to a considerable escalation in intermarriage with partners from nations outside of the EU (de Valk and Medrano 2014). Intermarriage prices in Sweden continuously have risen since the 1970s, additionally the enhance is notably steeper for males compared to ladies. Figure 1 shows the proportions of immigrant–native intermarriages (defined right here as marriages between A swede that is native footnote and their foreign-born partner) and native–native marriages (thought as marriages between two indigenous partners) of all of the newly contracted marriages produced by indigenous Swedes from 1969 to 2009. At the time of 1991 the register extracts utilized in this paper have an identifier for non-marital cohabitations with typical young ones, rendering it feasible to report the shares of native–native cohabitation and immigrant–native cohabitation.

Shares of native–native unions and immigrant–native unions of most unions of indigenous men that are swedish feamales in Sweden 1969–2009

The shares of immigrant–native marriage and cohabitation are close in size and have changed only marginally since the 1990s; for native men, there is a wider gap with immigrant–native cohabitation displaying lower rates with little increase over time and immigrant–native marriages displaying higher rates with a more pronounced increase over time for native women.

In previous years, intermarriage between native Swedes and immigrants had been dominated by intermarriage along with other Nordic residents, especially Finns (Cretser 1999). Much more modern times, the rise in intermarriages may be mainly accounted for by the increased quantity of marriages with partners from outside Europe, and Thailand has changed Finland as the most regular nation of beginning for intermarried immigrant females (although Finland remains the most frequent nation of beginning for intermarried immigrant males; Haandrikman 2014).

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