Spatial Homogamy: Geographical Dimensions of the Partner Market in the Netherlands

Karen Haandrikman, University of Groningen
Leo van Wissen, University of Groningen / NIDI
Peter Groote, University of Groningen

We aim to identify the importance of spatial dimensions of the partner market in the Netherlands. Most research on homogamy has focused on educational and occupational characteristics of partners. We focus on spatial homogamy, which suggests that people live together with a partner who shares their geographical origin. The paper gives an overview of research that takes the spatial dimension of the partner market into account. We argue that a national partner market does not exist, but instead a mosaic of local and regional partner markets, as a result of the geographical distribution of people and regional differentiated phenomena such as denomination or dialect. We study the effect of meeting places on partner choice, based on the Dutch Family Fertility Survey 2003. A spatial model of the partner market, based on population register data, will indicate the role of spatial factors in patterns of partner selection.

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Presented in Session 8: Union Formation