Ethnic minority-majority unions in Estonia
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Ethnic minority-majority unions-also referred to as mixed ethnic unions-are often seen as the ultimate evidence of the integration of ethnic minorities into their host societies. We investigated minority-majority unions in Estonia, where ethnic minorities account for one-third of the total population (Russians 26%, followed by Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Finns and other smaller groups). Using data from the 2000 Estonian census and regression models, we found that Slavic women are less likely to be in minority-majority unions than are members of other minority groups, with Russians being the least likely. Finns, who are culturally most similar to the Estonian majority population, are the most likely to form a union with an Estonian. For ethnic minority women, the likelihood of being in minority-majority unions is highest in rural areas and increases over generations, with third-generation immigrants being the most likely. Estonian women are most likely to have a minority partner when they or their parents were born abroad and when they live in urban areas. Our findings suggest that both the opportunity to meet potential partners and openness to other ethnic groups are important factors for understanding the dynamics of minority-majority unions.
van Ham , M & Tammaru , T 2011 , ' Ethnic minority-majority unions in Estonia ' European Journal of Population , vol 27 , no. 3 , pp. 313-335 . DOI: 10.1007/s10680-011-9236-z
European Journal of Population
© The Author(s) 2011. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.
The authors acknowledge financial support provided by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Science (target financed research project no. SF0180052s07), Estonian Science Foundation (grant no. 8774) and the NORFACE research programme on Migration in Europe—Social, Economic, Cultural and Policy Dynamics.
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