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 just how immigrant–native intermarriages in Sweden are connected with specific traits of indigenous gents and ladies and patterns of assortative mating. Habits of educational- and age-assortative mating which can be just like the ones that are in native–native marriages may mirror openness to immigrant teams, whereas assortative mating habits that suggest status factors declare that nation of delivery continues to act as a boundary within the marriage market that is native. The analysis utilizes Swedish register information which cover the whole Swedish populace when it comes to amount of 1991–2009. The outcomes from binomial and multinomial logistic regressions show that low status of natives when it comes to economic and demographic traits is related to intermarriage and therefore intermarriages are seen as an academic and age heterogamy more than are native–native marriages. The findings suggest that immigrant females along with immigrant guys be more appealing wedding lovers if they’re quite a bit more youthful than their indigenous spouses. It is specially real for intermarriages with immigrants from particular elements of beginning, such as for instance spouses from Asia and Africa and husbands from Asia, Africa, as well as the center East. Gender variations in the intermarriage habits of indigenous gents and ladies are interestingly tiny.


A feature that is distinct of wedding areas is homogamy in spousal option. Lovers are usually comparable pertaining to socioeconomic status (Kalmijn 1991), age (van Poppel et al. 2001), training, competition, and religion (Blackwell and Lichter 2004). While there is increasing similarity in specific traits such as for instance training and age over a few years (Schwartz and Mare 2005; Van de Putte et al. 2009), there is a decrease in homogamy when it comes to country of birth throughout the increase of intermarriages between natives and immigrants in European countries. Footnote 1 Scholars usually learn immigrant–native intermarriage in the context of immigrant integration and regularly regard intermarriage once the step that is final the assimilation procedure (Gordon 1964). a rather neglected facet of this will be that “it takes two to tango”: it entails the maximum amount of willingness in the element of natives to intermarry because it does from the section of immigrants. This research addresses a subject that features hitherto been understudied for the reason that it analyses the (inter-)marriage behavior of indigenous Swedes. Footnote 2 centering on the native bulk expands the intermarriage literary works and causes a significantly better knowledge 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 generally considered to signal the fact various social teams respect the other person as equals (cf. Kalmijn 1991), but wedding also can replicate social hierarchies by excluding specific teams through the pool of possible 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 traits such as for example age and training, it may be determined that the lovers try not to consider one another as social equals (Merton 1941). Intermarriage habits consequently have actually the possible to show implicit hierarchies of immigrants when you look at the wedding market. Footnote 3

The specific concern that this paper attempts to response is whether intermarriages are from the status of native Swedes in adition to that of immigrants when you look at 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 entire populace of residents in Sweden and includes all marriages and non-marital unions with typical kiddies that have been created in the time 1991–2009.

Background and Previous Research on Immigrant–Native Intermarriages in Europe and Sweden

Intermarriage between immigrants and natives has grown generally in most europe in previous years and it is closely pertaining to the percentage of immigrants in the united states (Lanzieri 2012). This increase that is general intermarriage in European countries is essentially associated upforit scam with a significant 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, while the enhance is significantly steeper for males compared to females. Figure 1 shows the proportions of immigrant–native intermarriages (defined right right right here as marriages from 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 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, that makes it feasible to report the stocks of native–native cohabitation and cohabitation that is immigrant–native.

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

For indigenous females, the stocks of immigrant–native wedding and cohabitation are close in proportions and now have changed just marginally because the 1990s; for indigenous males, there is certainly a wider space with immigrant–native cohabitation showing lower prices with small increase with time and immigrant–native marriages showing greater prices with a far more pronounced enhance as time passes.

In previous years, intermarriage between indigenous Swedes and immigrants had been dominated by intermarriage along with other Nordic residents, particularly Finns (Cretser 1999). The increase in intermarriages can be largely accounted for by the increased number of marriages with partners from outside Europe, and Thailand has replaced Finland as the most frequent country of origin for intermarried immigrant women (although Finland remains the most common country of origin for intermarried immigrant men; Haandrikman 2014) in more recent years.

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