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 exactly how intermarriages that are immigrant–native Sweden are related to specific faculties of indigenous women and men and habits of assortative mating. Habits of educational- and age-assortative mating which are comparable to the ones that are in native–native marriages may mirror openness to immigrant groups, whereas assortative mating habits that indicate status factors declare that nation of delivery continues to act as a boundary into the indigenous marriage market. The research utilizes Swedish register information which cover the complete 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 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 females along with immigrant guys be a little more appealing wedding lovers if they’re quite a bit more youthful than their indigenous partners. This will be especially real for intermarriages with immigrants from specific parts of beginning, such as for example spouses from Asia and Africa and husbands from Asia, Africa, and also the center East. Gender variations in the intermarriage habits of indigenous gents and ladies are interestingly little.


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, battle, and faith (Blackwell and Lichter 2004). While there clearly was similarity that is increasing particular traits such as for example training and age over several years (Schwartz and Mare 2005; Van de Putte et al. 2009), there is a decline in homogamy when it comes to country of delivery throughout the increase of intermarriages between natives and immigrants in Europe. Footnote 1 Scholars frequently learn immigrant–native intermarriage when you look at the context of immigrant integration and regularly consider intermarriage whilst the step that is final the assimilation process (Gordon 1964). an extremely neglected element of this might be that “it takes two to tango”: it entails just as much willingness from the element of natives to intermarry since it does regarding the section of immigrants. This research addresses an interest that features hitherto been understudied for the reason that it analyses the (inter-)marriage behavior of native Swedes. Footnote 2 centering on the indigenous majority expands the intermarriage literary works and results in an improved knowledge of societal openness towards minorities into the marriage market that is majority’s. If you take into consideration the characteristics of both the indigenous partner plus the immigrant partner, this paper is an essential share to your intermarriage literature. Intermarriage is frequently considered to signal the fact various groups that are social each other 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 may be figured the partners try not to consider one another as social equals (Merton 1941). Intermarriage habits consequently 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 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 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 gay sites 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 countries that are european previous years and it is closely linked to the percentage of immigrants in the united kingdom (Lanzieri 2012). This basic escalation in intermarriage in European countries is basically pertaining to an amazing upsurge 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, as well as the increase is significantly steeper for males compared to females. Figure 1 shows the proportions of immigrant–native intermarriages (defined here as marriages between A swede that is native footnote and their foreign-born partner) and native–native marriages (thought as marriages between two indigenous partners) of most newly contracted marriages produced 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 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

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 years.

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