Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Spanish Women Marry Immigrants With More Qualifications

 

A team at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) has studied the marriage strategies of immigrants in order to determine the nature of endogamic (between people of the same nationality) and exogamic partnerships (between people of different nationalities) in Spain. The preliminary results indicate that, unlike Spanish men, Spanish women prefer immigrants with more qualifications. “It caught our attention that human capital was more important in determining outmarriage amongst Spanish women but this is not the case in Spanish men. In other words, it seems that Spanish women prefer to get married to an immigrant man who has a higher educational attainment. However, this preference does not exist amongst Spanish men when it comes to getting married to an immigrant woman,” explains María Sánchez-Domínguez, investigator at the UCM and co-author of the study that was published in the International Sociology Journal. The researcher and her team gathered data from the National Immigrant Survey of Spain (2007), which was carried out by the UCM’s Population and Society Study Group (GEPS) and Spain’s National Statistic Institute (INE). The survey acts as a unique source of information and can be used to understand the characteristics of immigrants in Spain since 2007. Sánchez-Domínguez points out that “although it is from 2007, the survey contains both information on the current situation of those surveyed as well as their migration history. It is the only source of information that we can use to study the marriage strategies of immigrants and link them to integration processes. It is useful not just in understanding immigrant marriages in Spain but also those marriages that took place in the country of origin. From these data, in an initial study, researchers analysed endogamic marriages in Spain and the relationship between marriage and migration strategies. The expert’s main conclusion was that Moroccans are more prone towards endogamy, followed by Romanians and Ecuadorians.

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