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 how intermarriages that are immigrant–native Sweden are related to specific traits 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 declare that nation of delivery continues to serve as a boundary when you look at the indigenous wedding market. The analysis makes use of Swedish register information that cover the whole Swedish populace when it comes to amount of 1991–2009. The outcome 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 described as academic and age heterogamy more than are native–native marriages. The findings suggest that immigrant ladies also immigrant guys be much more appealing marriage lovers if they’re significantly more youthful than their native partners. This is certainly especially real for intermarriages with immigrants from particular elements of beginning, such as for example wives from Asia and Africa and husbands from Asia, Africa, as well as the center East. Gender variations in the intermarriage habits of indigenous women and men are interestingly little.


A feature that is distinct of wedding areas is homogamy in spousal option. Lovers are generally comparable pertaining to socioeconomic status (Kalmijn 1991), age (van Poppel et al. 2001), education, battle, and faith (Blackwell and Lichter 2004). While there was clearly increasing similarity in particular faculties such as for example training and age over a few years (Schwartz and Mare 2005; Van de Putte et al. 2009), there was clearly a decrease in homogamy with regards to nation of delivery through the increase of intermarriages between natives and immigrants in European countries. Footnote 1 Scholars often learn immigrant–native intermarriage into the context of immigrant integration and regularly consider intermarriage whilst the step that is final the assimilation procedure (Gordon 1964). a rather neglected element 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 regarding the element of immigrants. This research addresses an interest that features hitherto been understudied for the reason that it analyses the (inter-)marriage behaviour of native Swedes. Footnote 2 centering on the indigenous bulk expands the intermarriage literary works and contributes to 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 the intermarriage literature by taking into account. Intermarriage can be considered to signal the truth that various social teams consider each other as equals (cf. Kalmijn 1991), but wedding also can replicate social hierarchies by excluding particular 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 training, it could be figured the lovers don’t consider one another as social equals (Merton 1941). Intermarriage habits consequently have actually the possibility 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 in adition to that of immigrants when you look at the Swedish wedding market. By analysing the in-patient faculties of natives which can be related to intermarriage along with the educational- and age-assortative mating patterns of intermarried partners as opposed to the simple regularity of these unions, this research plays a role in a formerly understudied area within the intermarriage literary works. It utilizes top-notch register information within the whole populace of residents in Sweden and includes all marriages and non-marital unions with typical kiddies 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 in europe in previous decades and it is closely linked to the percentage of immigrants in the united kingdom (Lanzieri 2012). This basic rise in intermarriage in Europe is essentially regarding a significant escalation in intermarriage with partners from nations away from EU (de Valk and Medrano 2014). Intermarriage prices in Sweden continuously have risen since the 1970s, and also the enhance is somewhat steeper for guys compared to ladies. Figure 1 shows the proportions of immigrant–native intermarriages (defined right right here as marriages between A swede that is native footnote and their foreign-born partner) and native–native marriages (defined 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 young ones, that 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 Swedish guys 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 ended up being dominated by intermarriage along with other citizens that are nordic especially 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 hookup sites free legit years.

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