Marrying after migration: assortative mating among Moroccans in Spain

Albert Esteve, Xiana Bueno


We use data from the 2007 National Immigrant Survey to study the transitions to endogamous and exogamous marriages by Moroccan immigrants in Spain who were single at their time of arrival. First, we contextualise our analysis by examining the immigrants’ marital status at their time of arrival and the years elapsed between migration and marriage. Second, we use discrete-time multilevel logistic regression models to examine the influence of selected individual and structural variables on the transition to marriage. Our results show that, compared to women, men are more likely to be single at the time of migration and spend more time in the destination country before marriage. Conversely, women are more likely than men to marry within the first year of arrival, regardless of their husband’s country of birth. Men with tertiary education and women who are educated to at least the primary level are more likely to enter into exogamous marriages than those with lower education. Migrants whose migration decision was influenced by a relative or an acquaintance having the same country of birth are more likely to enter into an endogamous marriage.

Albert ESTEVE, Research Scientist, Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, 08193 SPAIN. E-mail:

Xiana BUENO, Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, 08193 SPAINT. E-mail:


intermarriage, international migration, Moroccans, Spain

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ISSN: 2035-5556

Reg. Tribunale di Roma n. 3321/54