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 just exactly exactly how immigrant–native intermarriages in Sweden are related to individual faculties of indigenous people and habits of assortative mating. Patterns 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 declare that nation of delivery will continue to act as a boundary into the marriage market that is native. The analysis makes use of Swedish register information that cover the whole Swedish populace when it comes to period of 1991–2009. The outcome from binomial and multinomial logistic regressions show that low status of natives when it comes to financial and demographic faculties is connected with intermarriage and therefore intermarriages are seen as an educational and age heterogamy more than are native–native marriages. The findings suggest that immigrant ladies along with immigrant guys be much more attractive wedding lovers if they’re significantly more youthful than their indigenous partners. This might be specially real for intermarriages with immigrants from specific areas of origin, such as for instance spouses from Asia and Africa and husbands from Asia, Africa, while the center East. Gender variations in the intermarriage patterns of indigenous both women and men are surprisingly little.


A feature that is distinct of wedding areas is homogamy in spousal option. Lovers are comparable pertaining to socioeconomic status (Kalmijn 1991), age (van Poppel et al. 2001), training, battle, and faith (Blackwell and Lichter 2004). While there was clearly similarity that is increasing specific faculties 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 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 consider intermarriage because the step that is final the assimilation process (Gordon 1964). an extremely neglected part of this is that “it takes two to tango”: it entails the maximum amount of willingness in the section of natives to intermarry because it does in the section of immigrants. This research 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 far better knowledge of societal openness towards minorities within the majority’s wedding market. The characteristics of both the native partner and the immigrant partner, this paper is an important contribution to dating social media sites the intermarriage literature by taking into account. Intermarriage is normally considered to signal the truth that various groups that are social the other person as equals (cf. Kalmijn 1991), but wedding may also replicate social hierarchies by excluding specific teams through the pool of possible 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 could be determined that the lovers usually do not consider each other as social equals (Merton 1941). Intermarriage habits consequently have the possible to show implicit hierarchies of immigrants into the wedding market. Footnote 3

The specific concern that this paper tries to response is whether intermarriages are linked to the status of native Swedes aswell as that of immigrants into the marriage market that is swedish. 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 established in the time 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 united states (Lanzieri 2012). This increase that is general intermarriage in European countries is basically linked to an amazing escalation in intermarriage with partners from nations away from EU (de Valk and Medrano 2014). Intermarriage prices 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 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 most newly contracted marriages created by indigenous Swedes from 1969 to 2009. At the time of 1991 the register extracts found in this paper have an identifier for non-marital cohabitations with typical young ones, rendering it feasible to report the stocks of native–native cohabitation and immigrant–native cohabitation.

Shares of native–native unions and immigrant–native unions of most 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 residents, specially 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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