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 just how intermarriages that are immigrant–native Sweden are related to specific traits of native people and habits of assortative mating. Patterns of educational- and age-assortative mating which can be just like the ones that are in native–native marriages may reflect openness to immigrant teams, whereas assortative mating habits that suggest status factors claim that nation of delivery will continue to act as a boundary when you look at the marriage market that is native. The research utilizes Swedish register information which 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 economic and demographic faculties is connected with intermarriage and that intermarriages are described as academic and age heterogamy more than are native–native marriages. The findings suggest that immigrant females in addition to immigrant guys are more appealing wedding lovers if they’re dramatically more youthful than their indigenous partners. That is 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, while the Middle East. Gender variations in the intermarriage habits of native gents and ladies are interestingly little.


A distinct function of several wedding areas is homogamy in spousal option. Lovers are usually comparable with regard to socioeconomic status (Kalmijn 1991), age (van Poppel et al. 2001), training, competition, and faith (Blackwell and Lichter 2004). While there clearly was 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 is 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 usually learn immigrant–native intermarriage within the context of immigrant integration and regularly consider intermarriage because the step that is final the assimilation procedure (Gordon 1964). an extremely neglected facet of this is certainly that “it takes two to tango”: it needs the maximum amount of willingness from the section of natives to intermarry since it does from the element of immigrants. This research addresses a subject that features hitherto been understudied in that it analyses the (inter-)marriage behavior of indigenous Swedes. Footnote 2 centering on the indigenous bulk expands the intermarriage literary works and contributes to a significantly better comprehension of societal openness towards minorities when you look at the majority’s marriage market. If you take into consideration the characteristics of both the indigenous partner together with immigrant partner, this paper is a vital share towards the intermarriage literary works. Intermarriage can be thought to signal the truth that various social teams respect the other person as equals (cf. Kalmijn 1991), but wedding also can replicate social hierarchies by excluding particular teams through the pool of prospective partners and reproducing social structures within these. Where intermarriages show systematic habits swapfinder.com 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 one another as social equals (Merton 1941). Intermarriage habits therefore have actually the prospective 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 from the status of native Swedes aswell as that of immigrants when you look at the Swedish wedding market. By analysing the person faculties of natives which are 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 part in a previously understudied area into the intermarriage literary works. It makes use of top-notch register information within the whole population of residents in Sweden and includes all marriages and non-marital unions with common young ones that have been created in the time 1991–2009.

Background and past Research on Immigrant–Native Intermarriages in European countries and Sweden

Intermarriage between immigrants and natives has increased generally in most europe in previous years and it is closely linked to the percentage of immigrants in the united kingdom (Lanzieri 2012). This increase that is general intermarriage in European countries is essentially pertaining to a considerable boost in intermarriage with spouses from nations outside of the EU (de Valk and Medrano 2014). Intermarriage prices in Sweden continuously have risen since the 1970s, plus the enhance is significantly steeper for males compared to females. Figure 1 shows the proportions of immigrant–native intermarriages (defined right here as marriages from A swede that is native footnote and their foreign-born spouse) 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. At the time of 1991 the register extracts utilized in this paper have an identifier for non-marital cohabitations with typical kids, rendering 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 all of the unions of indigenous Swedish males and ladies in Sweden 1969–2009

For indigenous females, the stocks of immigrant–native wedding and cohabitation are close in proportions and possess changed just marginally considering that the 1990s; for indigenous males, there was a wider space with immigrant–native cohabitation displaying reduced prices with little to no enhance with time and immigrant–native marriages showing higher prices with a far more pronounced increase as time passes.

In previous years, intermarriage between indigenous Swedes and immigrants was dominated by intermarriage along with other Nordic residents, 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 years.

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