Union formation after migration: influences on Moroccans’ transition to marriage in Spain

Albert Esteve, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED)
Xiana Bueno, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED)

We use data from the 2007 National Immigrant Survey to examine transitions to marriage among Moroccan-born in Spain. The analysis is restricted to immigrants arrived since 1980 that were at least 16 years old and were not in union at the time of arrival. Multilevel event history methods are used to ascertain the influence of individual and contextual factors on union formation. Separate models are built for men and women. We also distinguish between endogamous and exogamous marriages. Analyses show that the transitions to marriage among men are clearly shaped by age and years of residence. Compared to endogamous unions, however, exogamous unions occur after a longer duration. For women, years of residence, when significant, has the opposite effect. The hidden influence of imported wives that get married just after arrival may explain this discrepancy. Similar for men and women, university education increases the likelihood of marrying out. The influence of relatives and/or friends who migrated before the reference person on his/her migration decision has a positive effect on the transition to an endogamous marriage and a negative effect on exogamy. Variance among regions is not significant except for the analysis of men’s exogamy. To account for regional differences, we have considered two contextual variables: group size and share of men working in agriculture. The region’s share of men working in agriculture accounts for part of the regional variation but does not suffice to explain it all. Moroccans living in provinces with higher proportion of agricultural workers have lower likelihood of marrying out of their group.

Presented in Session 55: Union formation of migrants: antecedents and consequences