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


This paper studies exactly just just how immigrant–native intermarriages in Sweden are related to specific faculties of indigenous gents and ladies and habits of assortative mating. Habits of educational- and age-assortative mating which can be much like the ones that are in native–native marriages may mirror openness to immigrant groups, whereas assortative mating habits that suggest status factors declare that nation of delivery will continue to act as a boundary when you look at the indigenous wedding market. 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 when it comes to financial 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 ladies also immigrant guys are more marriage that is attractive if they’re significantly more youthful than their native partners. It is specially real for intermarriages with immigrants from specific elements of beginning, such as for instance spouses from Asia and Africa and husbands from Asia, Africa, plus the center East. Gender variations in the intermarriage habits of indigenous gents and ladies are surprisingly tiny.


A feature that is distinct of marriage markets is homogamy in spousal option. Lovers are usually comparable pertaining to socioeconomic status (Kalmijn 1991), age (van Poppel et al. 2001), training, battle, and faith (Blackwell and Lichter 2004). While there is increasing similarity in specific traits such as for example training and age over a few decades (Schwartz and Mare 2005; Van de Putte et al. 2009), there is a decline in homogamy with regards to nation of delivery throughout the increase of intermarriages between natives and immigrants in European countries. Footnote 1 Scholars often learn immigrant–native intermarriage when you look at 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 really is that “it takes two to tango”: it needs just as much willingness from the section of natives to intermarry since it does regarding the element of immigrants. This research addresses an interest which has hitherto EastMeetEast search 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 contributes to a far better comprehension of societal openness towards minorities within the majority’s marriage market. By firmly taking under consideration the characteristics of both the native partner therefore the immigrant partner, this paper is definitely an crucial share to your intermarriage literature. Intermarriage is normally considered to signal the truth that various groups that are social the other person as equals (cf. Kalmijn 1991), but wedding also can replicate hierarchies that are social excluding specific teams from the pool of prospective partners 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 try not to consider each other as social equals (Merton 1941). Intermarriage habits consequently have actually the prospective to show implicit hierarchies of immigrants when you look at the wedding market. Footnote 3

The specific 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. By analysing the patient faculties of natives which are connected with intermarriage plus the educational- and age-assortative mating patterns of intermarried couples 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 register that is high-quality since the whole populace of residents in Sweden and includes all marriages and non-marital unions with typical young ones 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 increased generally in most countries in 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 basically associated with a significant boost in intermarriage with partners from nations away from EU (de Valk and Medrano 2014). Intermarriage prices in Sweden continuously have risen since the 1970s, while the enhance is notably steeper for males compared to females. Figure 1 displays 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 (thought as marriages between two native partners) of most 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 kiddies, rendering it possible to report the stocks of native–native cohabitation and immigrant–native cohabitation.

Stocks of native–native unions and immigrant–native unions of all of the unions of indigenous men that are swedish ladies in Sweden 1969–2009

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

In earlier years, intermarriage between indigenous Swedes and immigrants ended up being dominated by intermarriage along with other Nordic residents, especially Finns (Cretser 1999). Much more modern times, the rise in intermarriages may be mostly 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 ladies (although Finland continues to be the most frequent nation of origin for intermarried immigrant guys; Haandrikman 2014).