Population patterns with an ethnic dimension abstracts

Strand organisers: Gemma Catney, University of Liverpool, Nissa Finney, University of Manchester

International perspectives on ethnic identity - Monday 8 September 1.30pm

Religion and national identity in Northern Ireland: A longitudinal perspective, 2001-2011
Ian Shuttleworth, Stefanie Doebler, Queen's University Belfast

Religion is important in Northern Ireland as a proxy for national identity and political allegiance. It is also significant for social policy because access to programmes and opportunities (for example in the labour market) is often monitored in terms of religion. In these circumstances the growth of the ‘nones’ who declare themselves to be neither Catholic or Protestant could be viewed as a positive since this group might be imagined as transcending old binary sectarian divisions. Equally, however, it could be viewed as a negative – as a nuisance category that muddies the waters for equality monitoring that based on the divide between Protestants and Catholics. The first part of the presentation therefore explores the demography of the ‘nones’ in Northern Ireland by considering the stability of religious identity between 2001 and 2011, and the individual and geographical factors that shape changes in identity, particularly for those who move into the ‘nones’ category. The second part of the presentation then considers the new question (in 2011) on national identity. This is a direct measure of national identity rather than a proxy. There is a special emphasis on the demographic and geographical characteristics of those who declared themselves to be ‘Northern Irish’ in 2011, a large category about which little is known.

Email: s.doebler@qub.ac.uk

People and politics: the peculiar demography of Kuwait and the Gulf States
Allan G. Hill, University of Southampton

The decision to allow Qatar host the FIFA 2022 World Cup has drawn renewed attention to the role and status of the non-nationals in all the Gulf States. International attention is being focused on the nationality and immigration laws that determine the balance between citizens and immigrants as well as the composition (age, sex, education and national origins) of the migrants. The rights and working conditions of the immigrant workers are under renewed scrutiny. The case of Kuwait illustrates the joint effects of internal politics and external relations on the size, composition and origins of the immigrant flows. Using data from the first census of 1957 and subsequent census, survey and population registration data , this paper traces the fluctuations in the balance between the Kuwaiti and the non-Kuwaiti populations, including the effects of the re-classification of the bidūn jinsiya (‘without nationality’) in 1986. Issues addressed including the continuing high fertility of the Kuwaiti nationals which in combination with the very low death rates, produces extraordinarily high rates of natural increase. The resulting population age distribution is thus very young with relative large cohorts entering the economically active age group each year. Labour force participation rates, however, remain very low for the national population. Although naturalizations are very rare, the internal political changes consequent on the 1990 Iraqi occupation and the subsequent 1991 Gulf War affected the relative size and the composition of both the Kuwaiti and the non-Kuwaiti elements of the population of Kuwait. The make-up of the non-national population has changed dramatically in recent years, with a turning away from a dependence of Arab migrants (formerly Palestinians, Jordanians, Syrians and Egyptians in the main) to workers of south and east Asian origin. The implications of these compositional changes are reviewed in the context of the current demography of Kuwait and other Gulf states. The paper then asks whether the current reliance on immigrant labour is sustainable with its associated duality in remuneration, access to educational, medical and social services. Is the substitution of nationals for immigrants in the labour force even a possibility in the years ahead? Will external pressures force a re-evaluation of policies on labour migration and naturalization or are the Gulf monarchies strong enough politically and economically to resist radical change?

Email: ah4e10@soton.ac.uk

Simultaneous divergence and convergence: Transitive ethnicity in the Turkish-Kurdish context
Sinan Zeyneloglu, Department of City and Regional Planning, Gaziantep University, Ibrahim Sirkeci, Regent’s Centre for Transnational Studies, Regent’s University London, Yaprak Civelek Department of Sociology, Istanbul Arel University

While most ethnic studies examine and exhibit different ethnic groups as mutually exclusive only to overlap through conjugal unions, among ethnie which Anthony Smith terms as ‘lateral’ or Emmanuel Todd labels as ‘universalistic’ transitional groups beyond the ‘mixed-race’ emerge in which individuals of minority or borderline ethnie may adopt the ethnic identity of a neighbouring or ‘core’ ethnie without relinquishing their birth identity as in the example of the ‘floating nationality’ of Polish-German borderline groups. Based on Turkish DHS data Turkish, Kurdish and transitive groups which appear to incorporate both identities have been analyzed utilizing information on second language and parents’ language in addition to mother tongue. The results reveal a dual development among groups of Kurdish origin in that Kurds who have adopted Turkish as main or secondary language converge in demographic aspects such as fertility or anthropological features like prevalence of endogamy to the Turkish group. On the other hand Kurds who stated not to use Turkish at all diverge from the overall population in terms of demographic indicators while anthropological differences persist. Our results have two major implications for ethnic studies. First, we stress that ethnic identities shall not be analyzed as mutually exclusive dualities if a lateral/universalistic anthropological base exists. Second, we point that transitional groups between two ethnie may be a long-range phenomenon rather than a temporary anomaly in a transnational world where material and informational exchange is facilitated more than ever enabling individuals to co-interact with different physical and cultural geographies.

Email: sinanz@regents.ac.uk

Mobility options for young French Caribbeans: using multiple methods to understand the role of London as a magnet or stepping stone
Stephanie Condon, Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques

Emigration from the French Caribbean, as elsewhere in the region, has become an integral part of local culture. In the French case, movement has predominantly taken place between the islands and metropolitan/mainland France. Since the 1980s, the proportion of emigrants has declined and a population of emigrants and their mainland-born descendants has become established. Meanwhile, under- and unemployment in the French Caribbean remains high and the expanding class of tertiary educated and the low- or unskilled are increasingly polarized. Recent survey evidence (Ined, 2008 and 2010) shows that emigration is a widely-expressed ambition amongst 18-35 year olds born on either side of the Atlantic; and USA, Canada and UK feature among preferred destinations. The UK, especially London, has emerged as a magnet for young French Caribbeans. Qualitative evidence reveals that this movement satisfies various aims: extending human capital through improving one’s command of the English language and through work experience; expectations of being perceived as a ‘French’ citizen (not an ethnicized/racialized ‘other’); a break with what many see as a narrow (French) perspective on career opportunities. Investigating the scale, characteristics and dynamics of this migration is not without its challenges, not least that of identifying the population in available statistics. However, whilst no ‘ethnic’ identification of individuals exists in French census or other public survey data, the UK census invites respondents to categorize themselves ‘ethnically’. Combining birthplace (France) and ethnic group data, we can build a profile of ‘French Caribbeans’ living in the UK at the 2001 and 2011 censuses.

Email: condon@ined.fr

Ethnicity, income and employment - Monday 8 September 4.45pm

Linking Local Experiences of Residential and Occupational Disadvantage: Evidence from the 2001 and 2011 UK Censuses
Gemma Catney, University of Liverpool, Albert Sabater, University of St Andrews

Background and aims: While it is widely acknowledged that spatial factors are of import in explaining economic and social outcomes, particularly local poverty, there remain significant gaps in knowledge as to how residential segregation may be related to poverty outcomes for individuals in their residential environment (the characteristics of place), or their labour market experiences (if they are exposed to occupational segregation and thus disadvantage). To address these issues, we undertake two strands of research. First, we analyse the relationship between the ethnic and economic characteristics of residential locales, for each ethnic group and for the whole of the UK. Second, we measure occupational segregation for ethnic groups in the UK, and its relationship to residential segregation, over time and space. Data and methods: Drawing on 2001 and 2011 Census data, we employ the Index of Dissimilarity (D) as the standard measure to analyze the uneven distribution of members of two groups across a set of categories (spatial, occupational and socio-economic), in addition to other measures related to area composition, including ethnic diversity and percentage co-ethnic concentration. Finally, we also provide evidence of the economic characteristics of local areas through unemployment rates and rates of occupational statuses, for all of the population, and for each ethnic group and sex group separately. Academic and policy implications: Our paper aims to provide a novel set of key findings to aid a better understanding of the relationship between poverty and ethnicity in place and over time in the UK.

Email: albert.sabater@st-andrews.ac.uk

Ethnic segregation and economic vulnerability
Richard Harris, David Manley, Ron Johnston, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol

In this paper we raise discussion about whether the neighbourhoods in which some ethnic groups live are also disproportionately those of the greatest economic vulnerability. We do so because, following the publication of the 2011 Census data, considerable discussion has been given to patterns of ethnic ‘segregation’. The general consensus is that all groups except the White British have become more geographically spread out with the result that neighbourhoods are more ethnically diverse. This evidence importantly contributes to debates about integration, challenging the myth that different ethic groups want to live apart. However, it also risks promoting the idea that what we measure is voluntary segregation, arising from the outcome of residential choices and a preference to live with one's ethno-cultural peers. In reality, ethnic and social segregation overlap and are easily confounded. It's not clear why the only the former should be given an analytical priority, and it's undesirable for it to do so when the consequence is to ignore the patterns of economic disadvantage that have structural causes, the outcomes of which disproportionately effect some ethnic groups more than others. In this paper, therefore, we construct a simple typology identifying those neighbourhoods that were most economically vulnerable in 2011 and looking at which ethnic groups were most prevalent within them. Looking at changes in the period from 2001 to 2011, we identify the ethic groups that have been disproportionately affected by the economic downturn and are likely to be further affected by the politics of austerity.

Email: rich.harris@bris.ac.uk

Gendered Income Inequalities in the UK: Evaluating differences across ethnic group and socio-economic position
Alita Nandi, University of Essex Lucinda Platt, London School of Economics

Individual income inequalities between men and women are substantial and persistent. However, among working age men and women, the analysis of gendered income inequalities focuses predominantly on labour income, in most cases gender pay gaps among full-time employed workers. Since both labour market participation and women’s overall command over resources varies ethnic groups for a variety of reasons, the story told by analysis of pay gaps alone may be particular partial for comparisons of inequalities across ethnic groups In this paper we therefore evaluate the extent and nature of gendered income gaps in the UK, across different ethnic groups. Using pooled data from the Family Resources Survey 2003/4-20012/13, distinguishing pre- and post-recession periods, we compare individual incomes of ethnic minority women both with those of men of the same ethnic group and with white majority men to measure the dual impact of ethnic group and gender. We also measure gender income gaps across socio-economic position for all groups. Our paper makes three main contributions. First, it focuses analysis of (within-group) gendered inequalities on within-household financial control and independence, rather than just labour market inequalities. Second, it takes into account the heterogeneity among women and thus compares gender gaps in individual income across different ethnic groups (between group analysis of inequalities). Third it investigates and compare incomes inequalities faced by women of different income classes, hence identifying at which points in the overall socio-economic structure gendered inequalities are most acute (within and between group cross-distributional analysis).

Email: l.platt@lse.ac.uk

Differences in the access of the I and II generation of immigrants in the Italian labour market
Michela C. Pellicani, University of Bari, Antonella Rotondo, Evelina Mero, Roberto A. Palumbo, ISTAT

The integration of the immigrant children in the labour market is one of the most relevant subjects focusing the attention of the scholars as well as of the policy makers. Even if it is a relatively new subject, it increased its importance especially in the recent years due to the growing weight that the immigrant children are taking in the young population of many countries. The strong interest caused by this phenomenon doesn’t correspond to the data availability. The main reason is that the majority of the international datasets doesn’t register the country of birth of the parents of the interviewed individual. This important lack is partially filled by an OECD study (2010). Because immigration is a « young » phenomenon, Italy is only now starting to face the entry in the labour market of the II generation of immigrants without any previous experience and specific inclusion policy. Our main purpose is to answer to: a) in a vertical perspective, which are the differences between the professional inclusion patterns of the I and of the II generation immigrants? b) In a horizontal perspective, which are the differences between the professional inclusion patterns of the II generation of immigrants and the Italians of the same age? We used micro data of the Indagine continua Forze di Lavoro (Labour Force Survey) conducted by ISTAT (Italian National Statistical Office) that will enable us to analyse different variables such as: education level, possible attendance of professional education, type of job, economic activity sector, etc.).

Email: michelacamilla.pellicani@uniba.it

Explaining ethnic health inequalities - Tuesday 8 September 11.00am

Social capital, ethnic density and mental health among ethnic minority people in England: a mixed-methods study
Laia Becares, James Nazroo, Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity, University of Manchester

Objectives: Ethnic minority people have been suggested to be healthier when living in areas of higher ethnic density. Explanations behind the ethnic density effect propose that positive health outcomes are partially attributed to the protective and buffering effects of increased social capital on health. In fact, a parallel literature has reported increased levels of social capital in areas of greater ethnic residential diversity, but to date, no study in England has explored whether increased social capital mediates the relationship between protective effects attributed to the residential concentration of ethnic minority groups and health. Design: We employ a mixed-methods approach to examine the association between ethnicity, social capital and mental health. We analyse geocoded data from the 2004 Health Survey for England to examine the association between ethnic residential concentration, social capital, and health. To further add to our understanding of the processes involved, data from a qualitative study of older ethnic minority people was used to examine accounts of the significance of place of residence to quality of life. Results: The association between ethnic density and social capital varies depending on the level of measurement of social capital and differed across ethnic minority groups. Social capital was not found to mediate the association between ethnic density and health. Structural differences in the characteristics of the neighbourhoods where different ethnic groups reside are reflected in the accounts of their daily experiences, and we observed different narratives of neighbourhood experiences between Indian and Caribbean respondents.

Email: laia.becares@manchester.ac.uk

Explanatory factors for health inequalities across different ethnic and gender groups: data from a national survey in England
Jennifer Mindell, Craig Knott, Linda Ng Fat, Marilyn Roth, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, Orly Manor, School of Public Health, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Varda Soskolne Social Sciences, Bar-llan University, Nihaya Daoud, Public Health, Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Aims: To examine the relative contribution of factors explaining ethnic health inequalities (EHI) in poor self-reported health (pSRH) and limiting longstanding illness (LLI) between participants in the Health Survey for England (HSE) Method: Using HSE 2003-06 data, the odds of reporting pSRH or of LLI in Bangladeshi, Black African, Black Caribbean, Chinese, Indian, Irish, and Pakistani participants was compared with White British participants. The effects of demographics, socio-economic position (SEP), psychosocial variables, community characteristics and health behaviours were assessed using separate regression models. Results: Compared with White British men, age-adjusted odds (OR, 95%CI) of pSRH were higher among Bangladeshi (2.05, 1.34-3.14), Pakistani (1.77, 1.34-2.33) and Black Caribbean (1.60, 1.18-2.18) males. This was rendered non-significant following adjustment for SEP and health behaviours. Unlike Black Caribbean men, Black African men exhibited a lower risk of age-adjusted pSRH (0.66, 0.43-1.00 (p=0.048)), and LLI (0.45, 0.28-0.72) which was significant in every model. Likewise Chinese men had a lower risk of age-adjusted pSRH (0.51, 0.26-1.00 (p=0.048)) and LLI (0.22, 0.10-0.48). Raised age-adjusted associations for pSRH were identified among Pakistani (2.51, 1.99- 3.17), Bangladeshi (1.85, 1.08-3.16), Black Caribbean (1.78, 1.44-2.21) and Indian women (1.37, 1.13-1.66). Adjustment for SEP rendered these increased risks insignificant except for Black Caribbean women. Adjustment for health behaviours had the largest effect for South Asian women. By contrast Irish women reported better age-adjusted SRH (0.70, 1.51-0.96). Conclusion: SEP and health behaviours were major contributors explaining EHI. Policies to improve health equity need to systematically monitor these pathways and be informed by them.

Email: l.ngfat@ucl.ac.uk

Do propensities for migration or social mobility vary by ethnicity, age and health in England? Evidence from the ONS Longitudinal Study
Fran Darlington, Paul Norman, University of Leeds, Dimitris Ballas, University of Sheffield

Increasing ethnic diversity in society dictates that research focused on understanding the nature of observed ethnic differences in health is timely, particularly given the widening of health gradients between some groups. Thus, this paper investigates an under-explored theory which may help explain health gradients, particularly ethnic health gradients. Migration is inherently selective: characteristics of migrants are very different from those of non-migrants, and health is an important characteristic which influences migration propensity. Mobility or immobility of differently healthy groups may therefore influence health gradients through the sorting of people into certain areas or socioeconomic circumstances based on their health status. Such a process of selective migration is likely to often coincide with social mobility whereby movement between spaces coincides with movement within the social hierarchy. If propensity for favourable migration and/or social mobility is constrained by disadvantage and poor health, any concentration of an ethnic group in adverse circumstances may help explain observed ethnic differences in health. Using longitudinal data from the 1991, 2001 and 2011 census, the analysis reveals whether propensity to migrate or for social mobility varies by ethnicity, age and health status. This indicates whether a selective process operates and if ethnicity, age or health are functioning as selection criteria. Methods used will include transition matrixes, calculation of illness ratios by transition category, and logistic regression. A working dataset is defined and initial ‘all-person’ models have been run. Further exploration by ethnicity will be completed during the next few months.

Email: gyfd@leeds.ac.uk

The patterns and distances of domestic violence journeys by women of different ethnic origins to access services in England
Janet Bowstead, Independent Researcher

This paper examines the ethnic group dimension within a process of forced internal migration in the United Kingdom: that of women (often with children) escaping violence within relationships. Sociological and social policy research on domestic violence has highlighted specific needs of ethnic minority women, including additional risks within communities and discrimination or inappropriate service responses. As a result, it might be expected that ethnic minority women would face particular difficulties in escaping domestic violence, and therefore in making these domestic violence journeys. The study used administrative, survey and interview data to identify and explore the journeys at a range of scales; including approximately 10,000 journeys a year across local authority boundaries and 8,500 to relocate within a local authority. The analysis reveals that ethnic minority women access housing-related support services in England due to domestic violence in a higher proportion than their numbers in the total population. White British women are slightly more likely than Ethnic Minority women to access services via residential mobility; but likely to travel slightly further when they do migrate. However, more detailed analysis reveals a lack of clear differences between ethnic origin groups in terms of distances of internal migration journeys, or of residential mobility rather than migration. There is a tendency across ethnic groups to migrate to a similar type of local authority to the one left, and the distances and patterns are found to relate primarily to individual circumstances of escaping an abusive partner, rather than to socio-demographic characteristics, including ethnic origin.

Email: da_kie@yahoo.co.uk

Dimensions of ethnic spatial segregation - Wednesday 10 September 9.00am

Religious and ethnic neighbourhood profiles in Vienna 1971 - 2011: A comparative assessment of two dimensions of urban diversity
Ramon Bauer 1,2,3, Markus Speringer 1,2, Guy J. Abel 1,2, 1 Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU), 2 Vienna Institute of Demography (Austrian Academy of Sciences), 3 Department of Geography and Regional Research, University of Vienna

International immigration is a key driver of population growth in many Western European cities. Figures from Statistics Austria show that in 2011, almost a third of Vienna’s population was foreign-born. The influx of people of different social, ethnic, cultural and religious background affects the composition of urban populations in ways that go beyond the conventional disaggregation by age, sex and ethnicity. However, the literature on urban segregation and diversity is dominated by the ethnic dimension, while only little attention has been paid to the changing religious landscapes of cities. This paper focuses on changes in the religious composition of the population of Vienna. We draw on data from decennial census rounds 1971 to 2011 to develop a set of indicators of segregation and residential diversity that capture the mix in small-scale urban areas to examine the religious and ethnic composition of Vienna’s population. Since information on religion has not been collected in the Austrian census after 2001, we produced estimates of the religious distribution for 243 neighbourhoods in Vienna. Within this context, we aim to answer the questions as to whether the city’s neighbourhoods are more segregated or diversified by religion or by ethnicity, how the patterns changed over time, and how these two dimensions affect each other. The findings contribute to the WIREL project (WIen RELigion) that investigates the role that religion plays in shaping the social and demographic structure of the population of Vienna in the past, present and future.

Email: ramon.bauer@oeaw.ac.at

Multilevel Geographical Segregation: Changing Ethnic Segregation in London 2001 - 2011
Dewi Owen 1,2, Kelvyn Jones 1,2, Ron Johnston 1, David Manley 1, 1 School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, 2 Centre for Multilevel Modelling, University of Bristol

Segregation has been at the forefront of western government concern for many decades. Within the British context we are constantly being warned that we are risking ‘sleep walking to segregation’ Philips (2005), or that society is at risk of living together, apart. However, much of the segregation literature measures segregation based upon descriptive, non-model-based indices by detailing a recently proposed alternative. To do so, we return to the roots of the modern segregation literature and develop an argument based on the premise that the frequently used segregation indices, such as the Index of Dissimilarity (ID), are inappropriate measures to use to describe modern urban society. For instance Duncan and Duncan (1955) were using ID as a means to measure racial segregation in the United States of America. Within this context a simple descriptive index of one measure was sufficient for the characterisation of residential space. In the modern urban world there are many more dimensions of segregation belonging to the cultural, the social and the economic domains and as such a single figure relating the distribution of a group measured on one dimension descriptively is no longer an adequate measure of segregation. To better represent the modern 21st Century segregation a new model is required and we present one implementation by implementing a multilevel modelling framework for segregation. This draws on the work of Kisch (1954) and allows, within one framework, both process and outcome to be observed so that the drivers and the state of segregation can be viewed together. We present an analysis of segregation in London using Census data from 2001 and 2011 to demonstrate the applicability of the method and highlight important new findings relating to who is living with whom!

Email: Dewi.Owen@bristol.ac.uk

Mixed ethni-cities and neighbourhood context
Darren P. Smith Loughborough University

Do mixed-ethnicity families live in particular types of neighbourhoods? Using a range of individual, familial and household-level variables from the 2011 UK Census, this paper examines the wider contextual social, economic, demographic and cultural characteristics that tend to be prominent in neighbourhoods with relatively high proportions of mixed-ethnicity families. Drawing on the findings of Holloway et al (2008) in the USA, and recent studies in the UK (e.g. Feng et al., 2010), the presentation explores the differences and similarities between different combinations of mixed-ethnicty, and pronounced neighbourhood characteristics, such as local ethnicity profiles, familial structures and forms of traditionally/non-traditionality. The paper argues that there are uneven geographies of mixed-ethnicity which map on to other processes of social and economic restructuring.

Email: d.p.smith@lboro.ac.uk

Ethnicity and internal migration - Wednesday 10 September 11.00am

Are geographies of migration in Britain ethnically distinct? Evidence from the 2011 Census
Nissa Finney, Ludi Simpson, University of Manchester

We know from census data that neighbourhoods in England and Wales have become more ethnically mixed and less residentially segregated over the last two decades. Despite this, ethnic segregation measures continue to be called upon in debates about ethnic integration to illustrate the degree to which two or more populations are not perfectly mixed. However, an ideal of perfect mixing is both misleading and likely to induce a permanent state of disappointment. It ignores the historical processes that bring people to be where they live, and does not illuminate the social and demographic processes that lead to the distribution of new people and the redistribution of existing population. This paper examines 2011 census data on migration within the UK, addressing the question of the extent to which patterns of population movement are ethnically distinct. Using commissioned tables, the paper investigates whether there are different geographical patterns of migration for ethnic groups at different life stages. Presentation of the latest evidence will be set in the context of findings from the 1990s and 2000s, to demonstrate whether or not there are new geographies of migrant settlement and ethnic group population change, and what this tells us about integration.

Email: Nissa.Finney@manchester.ac.uk

Unconscious Segregation?: Social Networks, Amenities, Behaviouralism and Mobility Decisions in Britain, 1991‐2012
Eric Kaufmann, Gareth Harris, Birkbeck College

This paper assesses the impact of ethnic diversity and change on British mobility decisions at ward level between 1991-2012. This is arguably the first study to link individuals' subjective attitudes with mobility data at several points in time, permitting a fuller assessment of the role of ethnic motivation than has hitherto been possible. This study combines data from the British Household Panel and Understanding Society (UKHLS) surveys, Citizenship Surveys, UK census data, ONS LS data and findings from a specially commissioned survey of retrospective mobility. We find that ethnicity matters for mobility choices, but ethnocentrism explains only a very small part of this. Instead, correlates of ethnicity - amenities such as places of worship or social ties to family and friends - may be central. We find in UKHLS, that moves to more diverse areas are associated with moves toward one's mother for minorities and away for White British. In UKHLS and the Citizenship Surveys, minorities who are less religiously observant are more likely to move to whiter wards regardless of their ethnic attachment. There is also an added dimension of white/minority differences in migration trajectories which cannot be captured by ethnic dynamics alone. Some combination of discrimination, minority discomfort or unconscious, behavioural processes may thereby be important, which we explore further with the data.

Email: e.kaufmann@bbk.ac.uk

Marriage Migration and Divorce in Sweden
Ognjen Obucina, Department of Sociology, Demography Unit (SUDA) Stockholm University

The goal of the paper is to analyse the link between marriage migration and divorce risk among immigrants in Sweden. Marriage migration has been one of the most significant types of international migration in Europe over the last several decades. At the same time, marriage migrants contribute substantially to the heterogeneity of social norms and social practices among immigrants in Europe. This paper departs from the view that, in order to obtain a more fine-grained picture of immigrant family dynamics, it is necessary to distinguish between importer/migrant couples (marriages in which one of the partners is a marriage migrant) and other immigrant endogamous marriages. Data are drawn from the Swedish register data and cover the period between 1990 and 2007. The analysis is centred around six immigrant groups characterized by a high prevalence of importing partners from the country of origin. The results of the piecewise constant exponential model show that marriage migration couples are in general exposed to an elevated divorce risk as compared to other immigrant endogamous couples. Possible explanations for this finding include 1) intra-ethnic cultural variation, 2) time between the acquaintance and the wedding, 3) motivation for marriage and 4) the stress associated with the act of migration. In all six immigrant groups the divorce risk is higher for female importer/male migrant than for male importer/female migrant couples. This suggests that the motivation to import a partner may be different for immigrant men and women.

Email: ognjen.obucina@sociology.su.se