Intermarriage and immigrant integration in Sweden

Martin Dribe, Lund University
Christer Lundh, Goteborgs Universitet

Intermarriage is a key aspect of immigrant integration. In this article we explore marital exogamy (especially intermarriage between immigrants and natives) for 39 different immigrant groups using cross-sectional register data for the total immigrant populations in Sweden in 2003. This makes possible a more detailed analysis than in most previous studies. Immigrants that are better educated, who spend longer time in Sweden before marriage and live outside the bigger cities are more likely to be married to natives. Controlling for age at immigration, education, time between immigration and marriage, settlement size, and the relative size of the immigrant group of the opposite sex, immigrants from Western Europe (excluding Finland) and the United States are more likely to be married to natives than immigrants from the rest of the world including the Balkans and Eastern Europe. We also analyze the link between intermarriage and economic integration (employment and income). The results indicate a strong association between intermarriage with natives and economic integration in terms of employment and income. Immigrants married to natives are more likely to have a job, and also have higher individual and household income.

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Presented in Session 4: Migrant Demographic Behaviour: Nuptiality