Who marries foreign-born? The particular case of Spain and Italy

Joana Serret, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Agnese Vitali, University of Southampton

The number of immigrants has been substantially increasing in the past ten years in countries of the European South, which were traditionally migrant-sending rather migrant-receiving countries. Intermarriage is also gaining importance. Of all marriages celebrated in Italy and Spain at the end of the 2000s, about 15% are mixed marriages. This paper analyzes intermarriage from the native’s perspective in Spain and Italy, two countries of recent immigration which share many social and demographic characteristics. Our results show that intermarriage is becoming an option for men and women who are not “attractive” partners in the natives’ marriage market. We interpret the increase in intermarriage as a response to the difficulties to find a partner in the national marriage market.

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Presented in Session 62: Bi-national marriages and marriage migration