Volume 33 - Article 10 | Pages 273–312

Union formation and dissolution among immigrants and their descendants in the United Kingdom

By Tina Hannemann, Hill Kulu

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Date received:02 Jul 2014
Date published:04 Aug 2015
Word count:6882
Keywords:cohabitation, divorce, ethnic minorities, immigrants, marriage, second generation, separation, United Kingdom
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2015.33.10
Updated Items:On January 16, 2018 Figure 4 on page 286 was replaced with a corrected version.
Weblink:You will find all publications in this Special Collection “Partnership Dynamics among Immigrants and Their Descendants in Europe” at http://www.demographic-research.org/special/18/
 

Abstract

Background: There is a growing literature on the dynamics of immigrant fertility and mixed marriages, but partnership transitions among immigrants and ethnic minorities are little studied.

Objective: This study investigates union formation and dissolution among immigrants and their descendants in the UK.

Methods: We use data from the Understanding Society study and apply the techniques of event history analysis. We contrast partnership trajectories of various immigrant groups and compare these with those of the 'native' British population.

Results: The analysis shows significant differences in partnership formation and dissolution among immigrants and ethnic minorities. Women of Caribbean origin have the highest cohabitation and the lowest marriage rates, whereas cohabitation remains rare among immigrants from South Asia and their descendants, as most of them marry directly. Immigrants from the Caribbean region and their descendants also show higher divorce rates than 'native' British women, whereas women of South Asian origin have a low divorce risk.

Author's Affiliation

Tina Hannemann - University of Manchester, United Kingdom [Email]
Hill Kulu - University of St Andrews, United Kingdom [Email]

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