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


This paper studies just just how immigrant–native intermarriages in Sweden are connected with specific characteristics of indigenous people and habits of assortative mating. Habits of educational- and age-assortative mating which are comparable to those discovered in native–native marriages may mirror openness to immigrant teams, whereas assortative mating habits that suggest status factors claim that Wantmatures dating website nation of delivery continues to serve as a boundary within the indigenous marriage market. The analysis makes use of Swedish register information which cover the complete 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 females along with immigrant males are more appealing wedding partners if they’re quite a bit more youthful than their indigenous partners. This is certainly especially real for intermarriages with immigrants from specific areas of beginning, such as for instance spouses from Asia and Africa and husbands from Asia, Africa, and also the center East. Gender variations in the intermarriage patterns of indigenous people are interestingly tiny.


A feature that is distinct of wedding areas is homogamy in spousal option. Partners are usually comparable pertaining to status that is socioeconomicKalmijn 1991), age (van Poppel et al. 2001), education, battle, and faith (Blackwell and Lichter 2004). While there clearly was increasing similarity in particular traits such as for instance training and age over several years (Schwartz and Mare 2005; Van de Putte et al. 2009), there is a decline in homogamy when it comes to nation of delivery throughout the rise of intermarriages between natives and immigrants in European countries. Footnote 1 Scholars frequently learn immigrant–native intermarriage into the context of immigrant integration and regularly consider intermarriage because the step that is final the assimilation process (Gordon 1964). an extremely neglected part of this is certainly that “it takes two to tango”: it entails just as much willingness regarding the section of natives to intermarry since it does in the element of immigrants. This research addresses a subject that features hitherto been understudied in that it analyses the (inter-)marriage behavior of native Swedes. Footnote 2 centering on the indigenous bulk expands the intermarriage literary works and contributes to a far better comprehension of societal openness towards minorities within the marriage market that is majority’s. 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 reality that various social teams respect each other as equals (cf. Kalmijn 1991), but wedding may also replicate hierarchies that are social excluding specific teams through the pool of prospective lovers and reproducing social structures within these. Where intermarriages show systematic patterns of hypergamy and hypogamy, this is certainly, indigenous lovers marry up or down in faculties such as for example age and education, it could be determined that the lovers 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 particular concern that this paper tries to response is whether intermarriages are from the status of native Swedes in adition to 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 makes use of register that is high-quality since the whole populace of residents in Sweden and includes all marriages and non-marital unions with typical kids which were 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 increased in many countries that are european previous years and it is closely linked to the percentage of immigrants in the united states (Lanzieri 2012). This basic upsurge in intermarriage in European countries is essentially pertaining to a considerable upsurge in intermarriage with partners from nations outside of the EU (de Valk and Medrano 2014). Intermarriage rates in Sweden have increased constantly since the 1970s, as well as the increase is significantly steeper for guys compared to ladies. Figure 1 shows the proportions of immigrant–native intermarriages (defined right here as marriages between a indigenous swede footnote 4 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. As of 1991 the register extracts found in this paper have an identifier for non-marital cohabitations with typical kids, rendering it feasible to report the shares of native–native cohabitation and immigrant–native cohabitation.

Stocks of native–native unions and immigrant–native unions of all of the unions of indigenous Swedish males and 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 indigenous Swedes and immigrants had been dominated by intermarriage along with other Nordic citizens, especially Finns (Cretser 1999). Much more the past few years, the rise in intermarriages could be mainly accounted for because of 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 females (although Finland continues to be the most typical nation of origin for intermarried immigrant males; Haandrikman 2014).

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