Explaining Trends and Patterns of Immigrants' Partner Choice in Britain
EUI Working Papers, MWP 2009/33
Posted: 12 Apr 2010
Date Written: August 10, 2009
Based on the 1988–2006 General Household Survey (N=121,964), this paper investigates trends and patterns of partnership formation of immigrants in Britain and explains underlying factors influencing partner choice. The key questions are: 1) whom do the immigrants of different gender, generation and ethnic groups form partnerships with: (a native partner, a native-born coethnic partner or a coethnic partner born abroad); and 2) what the factors are explaining such a choice. Those born in the UK, or who migrated to the UK at young age, and immigrant men as compared to women are more likely to have a native partner. Age at union, marital status, educational qualification, area ethnic composition, sex ratio and educational homogomy are significant predictors of one’s partner choice. Yet, ethnic origin remains a crucial determinant of patterns of partnership formation. The statistical analysis suggests that the rates of interethnic union with a native partner will continue to increase for Black Caribbean, Black Africans and also gradually for highly educated Indians. The proportion of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis having a native partner will remain low and simultaneously transnational marriage with a coethnic partner from abroad will still be commonly practiced. Overall, interethnic partnership between immigrants and natives are increasing in Britain.
Keywords: Intermarriage, transnational marriage, integration, ethnic minority, Britain
JEL Classification: J11, J12, J15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation