Second-generation Turkish and Moroccan men and women in Flanders (Belgium). Does partner choice influence the start of family formation?

Edith Lodewijckx, Research Centre of the Flemish Government

The number of second-generation young adults of Turkish and Moroccan origin will increase in the near future and a considerable number of ‘marriage migrants’ from Turkey and Morocco may be expected to arrive in Flanders the coming years. We examine whether family formation starts differently for second-generation Turkish and Moroccan men and women if they marry a newcomer or a second-generation partner. Using population register data, age at marriage, age difference between partners, virilocal traditions (in which the bride moves in with her family-in-law), age at first birth, timing of first birth within marriage and mean number of children after longer marriage duration are analysed. Choice of a marriage partner – second generation versus marriage migrant – affects several aspects of family formation. The effects differ for Turks and Moroccans and also for men and women. Turkish second-generation men married to a newcomer have a more traditional pattern of family formation than Turkish second-generation men with a second-generation spouse. Partner choice does not have the same consequences for family formation of second-generation Turkish women. Here, the differences are much smaller, regardless of whether they have a partner from Turkey or one that grew up in Belgium. This confirms the earlier hypothesis that motivations to choose a partner from Turkey are different for men and women. Being married to a marriage migrant has more serious consequences for family formation of Moroccan second-generation women than for Moroccan second-generation men.

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Presented in Poster Session 1