Trends in the choice of first and second-generation migrants' spouse in Belgium

This paper maps the marital choices of persons with a migratory background in Belgium, with a focus on populations of Moroccan and Turkish origin.

First page of the publication on the marital choice of migrants in Belgium

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The paper highlights the following conclusions, inter alia:

  • Migrants mostly favour people of the same origin and especially choose spouses who still reside in the country of origin (48.5% of all unions of persons with migration background in Belgium).
  • The overall popularity of unions with migrating spouse slightly decreases among migrants in Belgium, mainly due to the radical shift in second generation migrants of Turkish and Moroccan origin. If this trend continues, in a few years, a large majority of second generation migrants from these two countries will choose predominantly homogamous local unions.
  • Since 2011 however, the government further controls the migration of spouses, having an impact on the marital choice of many migrants (and Belgians without migration history).


Frank Caestecker (HoGent - Administrative Sciences & Public Management, HABE)
John Lievens (UGent -
Department of Sociology, CUDOS)
Bart Van de Putte (UGent -
Department of Sociology, HeDeRa)
Koen Van der Bracht (UGent -
Department of Sociology, HeDeRa)

Publication Date:
Wed 27 Mar 2013
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