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

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


This paper studies exactly exactly how intermarriages that are immigrant–native Sweden are connected with specific faculties of indigenous men and women and habits of assortative mating. Habits of educational- and age-assortative mating which can be comparable to those discovered in native–native marriages may mirror openness to immigrant teams, whereas assortative mating habits that suggest status considerations claim that nation of birth will continue to act as a boundary into the native wedding market. The research makes use of Swedish register information that cover the whole Swedish populace for the amount 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 related to intermarriage and that intermarriages are described as academic and age heterogamy more than are native–native marriages. The findings suggest that immigrant ladies along with immigrant males be more appealing wedding lovers if they’re quite a bit more youthful than their indigenous partners. It is especially real for intermarriages with immigrants from particular areas of beginning, such as for example wives from Asia and Africa and husbands from Asia, Africa, together with Middle East. Gender variations in the intermarriage habits of native women and men are interestingly tiny.


A feature that is distinct of wedding markets is homogamy in spousal option. Lovers are usually comparable pertaining to socioeconomic status (Kalmijn 1991), age (van Poppel et al. 2001), education, competition, and faith (Blackwell and Lichter 2004). While there was clearly 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 clearly was a decline in homogamy when it comes to nation of delivery through the increase of intermarriages between natives and immigrants in European countries. Footnote 1 Scholars usually learn immigrant–native intermarriage when you look at the context of immigrant integration and regularly consider intermarriage once the last step up the assimilation procedure (Gordon 1964). an extremely neglected facet of this is certainly that “it takes two to tango”: it entails the maximum amount of willingness regarding the section of natives to intermarry since it does regarding the section of immigrants. This study addresses an interest who has hitherto been understudied for the reason that it analyses the (inter-)marriage behaviour 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 within the majority’s marriage 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 normally considered to signal the fact various social teams respect each other as equals (cf. Kalmijn 1991), but wedding also can replicate hierarchies that are social excluding particular teams through the pool of potential lovers and reproducing social structures within these. Where intermarriages show systematic habits of hypergamy and hypogamy, that is, indigenous lovers marry up or down in faculties such as for instance age and training, it may be determined that the lovers usually do not consider one another as social equals (Merton 1941). Intermarriage habits consequently have actually the prospective to reveal implicit hierarchies of immigrants into the marriage 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 within 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 utilizes top-quality register information 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 past Research on Immigrant–Native Intermarriages in European countries and Sweden

Intermarriage between immigrants and natives has grown in many countries that are european previous years and it is closely linked to the percentage of immigrants in the nation (Lanzieri 2012). This increase that is general intermarriage in European countries is essentially associated with an amazing upsurge in intermarriage with partners from nations outside of the EU (de Valk and Medrano 2014). Intermarriage prices in Sweden have increased constantly since the 1970s, as well as the enhance is significantly steeper for males compared to females. Figure 1 shows the proportions of immigrant–native intermarriages (defined right right here as marriages from a indigenous swede footnote 4 and their foreign-born partner) and native–native marriages (thought as marriages between two indigenous spouses) of most newly contracted marriages created 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 kids, which makes it feasible to report the stocks of native–native cohabitation and immigrant–native cohabitation.

Stocks 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 earlier decades, intermarriage between indigenous Swedes and immigrants had been dominated by intermarriage along with other citizens that are nordic particularly Finns (Cretser 1999). Much more the last few years, the rise in intermarriages could be mostly accounted for by the increased quantity of marriages with partners from outside Europe, and Thailand has changed Finland as the utmost regular nation of beginning for intermarried immigrant ladies (although Finland continues to be the most typical nation of beginning for intermarried immigrant men; Haandrikman 2014).

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