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


This paper studies just just how intermarriages that are immigrant–native Sweden are related to individual traits of indigenous people and patterns of assortative mating. Habits of educational- and age-assortative mating which are much like the ones that are in native–native marriages may mirror openness to immigrant teams, whereas assortative mating patterns that suggest status factors claim that nation of delivery will continue to act as a boundary within the indigenous wedding market. The research makes use of Swedish register information which cover the complete 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 therefore intermarriages are seen as a academic and age heterogamy more than are native–native marriages. The findings indicate that immigrant females also immigrant guys are more appealing marriage lovers if they’re significantly more youthful than their indigenous partners. That is especially real for intermarriages with immigrants from specific elements of beginning, such as for instance spouses from Asia and Africa and husbands from Asia, Africa, together with center East. Gender variations in the intermarriage habits of native both women and men are interestingly tiny.


A distinct function of numerous wedding areas is homogamy in spousal option. Lovers are generally similar pertaining to socioeconomic status (Kalmijn 1991), age (van Poppel et al. 2001), training, competition, and faith (Blackwell and Lichter 2004). While there clearly was similarity that is increasing particular traits 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 with regards to nation of delivery through 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 once the step that is final the assimilation procedure (Gordon 1964). an extremely neglected facet of this might be that “it takes two to tango”: it needs the maximum amount of willingness from the element of natives to intermarry since it does regarding the element of immigrants. This research addresses an interest that includes 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 contributes to a significantly better comprehension of societal openness towards minorities into the majority’s wedding market. If you take into consideration the characteristics of both the indigenous partner and also the immigrant partner, this paper can be an essential share to your intermarriage literary works. Intermarriage is oftentimes considered to signal the reality that various social teams consider the other person as equals (cf. Kalmijn 1991), but wedding may also replicate hierarchies that are social excluding specific teams through the pool of prospective lovers and reproducing social structures within these. Where intermarriages show systematic patterns of hypergamy and hypogamy, that is, native lovers marry up or down in faculties such as for example age and training, it may be figured the lovers try not to 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 from the status of native Swedes in adition to that of immigrants when you look at the marriage market that is swedish. By analysing the person traits of natives which are related to intermarriage plus 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 into the intermarriage literary works. It utilizes register that is high-quality within the whole population of residents in Sweden and includes all marriages and non-marital unions with typical 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 grown in many countries that are european previous decades and it is closely regarding the percentage of immigrants in the nation (Lanzieri 2012). This basic rise in intermarriage in European countries is largely pertaining to a significant boost in intermarriage with spouses get it on review from nations outside of the EU (de Valk and Medrano 2014). Intermarriage prices in Sweden have increased constantly since the 1970s, additionally the enhance is notably steeper for males compared to ladies. 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 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 common kids, rendering it feasible 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 Swedish guys and ladies in Sweden 1969–2009

For native females, the stocks of immigrant–native wedding and cohabitation are close in proportions while having changed just marginally considering that the 1990s; for indigenous guys, there was a wider space with immigrant–native cohabitation showing reduced prices with little to no enhance in the long run and immigrant–native marriages displaying greater prices with an even more pronounced enhance with time.

In previous years, intermarriage between indigenous Swedes and immigrants ended up being dominated by intermarriage along with other Nordic residents, specially Finns (Cretser 1999). Much more the last few years, the rise in intermarriages may be mainly accounted for because of the increased quantity of marriages with partners from outside Europe, and Thailand has changed Finland as the most regular nation of beginning for intermarried immigrant females (although Finland continues to be the most typical nation of beginning for intermarried immigrant guys; Haandrikman 2014).