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Opposites attract. Unions between majority natives and wedding migrants in Sweden

European countries, Family, immigrants, interracial wedding, Marriage, Migration

Wedding with all the possibility of migration might result in brand new habits of union development in globalized wedding areas. Annika Elwert talks about traits and wedding habits of bulk natives who’re in unions with immigrants whom either lived within the national nation before union development or migrated around the full time of wedding, and provides insights about majority natives’ openness towards different immigrant teams when you look at the wedding market.

Wedding migration defines the outcome of individuals whom marry because of the intent behind migration: their wedding happens before or at all over time that is same the work of migration. Wedding migration is a sign of a globalisation of wedding areas, due as an example to worldwide tourism and the net (Niedomysl et al. 2010), and provides almost all populace the chance to “cast a wider net” for dating and marriage. For potential immigrants, wedding migration is seen as being a way to finding a residence license. People from non-EU nations can acquire a residence license in Sweden when you are cohabiting or married with a person who currently lives in Sweden (Swedish Migration Agency 2020).

Immigrant-native intermarriage in Sweden

Intermarriage between immigrants and natives has increased generally in most countries that are european past years and it is closely linked to the percentage of immigrants in the united states (Lanzieri 2012). Presently, very nearly 19 per cent of Sweden’s population is foreign-born, that will be higher than when you look at the U.S., the U.K. or Germany (OECD 2020). Intermarriage prices in Sweden have increased constantly since the 1970s, plus the enhance happens to be significantly steeper for males compared to females. Between 1990 and 2009, the share of immigrant-native marriages increased from 8 to 13 % for males, but only from 7 to 9 % for females (Elwert 2018). Past research indicates that brand new intermarriage habits have actually emerged alongside the habits of regular wedding between Swedes and immigrants of Nordic nations. From every 1,000 unmarried guys aged 18 and above in 2008, around six hitched an EU partner while 11 hitched a wife from beyond your EU; the matching quantity for the latter in 1991 ended up being around three (Haandrikman 2014).


The results reveal that Swedish males who will be older, have reduced socio-economic status, are divorced or have young ones from past relationships have actually greater probability of being in a union with a married relationship migrant than with a resident migrant. Additionally, Swedish ladies with reduced socio-economic status have greater chances than ladies with a high socio-economic status to be in a native-marriage migrant union. Age space between lovers can also be highly connected with unions with marriage migrants both for both women and men: unions with significantly more youthful lovers (seven years or maybe more) are reasonably more regular whenever marriage migrants are participating. Conversely, academic distinctions usually do not appear to play an important part on the marriage market in Sweden.

Figure 1 compares wedding migrants to resident immigrants who’re in a union by having an indigenous. It shows the habits of native-marriage migrant unions in accordance with native-resident migrant unions, showing that even if accounting for background facets (like the age and training of lovers, an entire list is when you look at the figure note), unions where in actuality the immigrant partner is seven or even more years more youthful are fairly much more likely whenever wedding migrants may take place. But, this isn’t the actual situation for several origins: the sensation emerges in specific with partners from main and Europe that is eastern America, Asia or Africa. The immigrant teams among who unions with large age gaps are far more typical may also be people that have reasonably low status in the natives’ wedding market (Osanami Torngren 2016; Potarca & Mills 2015), and they are viewed as “less attractive”.

The findings of the research declare that intermarriages include an change of age and cultural status, especially of age and prospective residence permit. This means immigrants belonging to groups that are immigrant as less appealing by bulk natives be more appealing whether they have something to provide as a swap: age, particularly.

This relationship is discovered both for guys and females (see Figure 2), which shows that both value more youthful age into the wedding market (rather than, as an example, guys preferring more youthful lovers and ladies preferring more educated lovers). This choosing is still another indicator for the level that is high of equality in Sweden.

This research illustrates that the boundaries between immigrants and bulk natives are manifested not merely by the exclusion of immigrants of specific ethnicities through the pool of wedding lovers but in addition by their addition whether they have something to provide in exchange. Into the Swedish case, this is certainly probably be age.


Elwert, A. (2018). Are you going to intermarry me personally? Determinants and effects of immigrant-native intermarriage in modern Nordic settings. Lund: Lund University, Media-Tryck.

Elwert, A (2019). Opposites Attract: Assortative Mating and Immigrant–Native Intermarriage in Modern Sweden. European Journal of Population.

Gordon, M. M. (1964). Assimilation in American life: The part of competition, faith, and origins that are national ed.). Nyc: Oxford University Press.

Haandrikman, K. (2014). Binational marriages in Sweden: Is there an EU impact? Population, area and put, 20(2), 177–199.

Lanzieri, G. (2012). Blended marriages in European countries, 1990–2010. In D.-S. Kim (Ed.), Cross-border wedding: worldwide styles and variety (pp. 81–121). Seoul: Korea Institute for health insurance and Social Affairs (KIHASA).

Niedomysl, T., Osth, J., & van Ham, M. (2010). The globalisation of wedding areas: The case that is swedish. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 36(7), 1119–1138

OECD (2020). Foreign-born populace (indicator). doi: 10.1787/5a368e1b-en (Accessed on 19 might 2020)

Osanami Torngren, S. (2016). Attitudes toward interracial marriages plus the part of interracial

connections in Sweden. Ethnicities, 16(4), 568–588.

Potarca, G., & Mills, M. (2015). Racial choices in internet dating across countries in europe. European Sociological Review, 31(3), 326–341


? The groups under research are Swedish-born people with two Swedish-born moms and dads and foreign-born people, for example. immigrants. Native-born people who have foreign-born moms and dads are excluded. Citizenship just isn’t noticed in this information extract.

? Reason for residence license is not seen in the info extract. To guide the declare that residence license is definitely a vehicle that is important these marriages, we compare how many wedding migrants identified within the information extract because of the wide range of adult immigrants have been awarded family-related residence allows for the most typical marriage-migrant nations. This contrast demonstrates that the sheer number of wedding migrants identified when you look at the data is the reason 20 to 50 % of all of the residence that is family-related, not absolutely all of which were awarded to immigrants having married Swedish majority partners. a proportion that is large of with family-related licenses have been in unions with immigrants or second-generation immigrants.

? Cohabiting unions without typical kiddies may not be identified in this information extract.