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  • Project contributors: Kulu H, Finney N, Mikolai J, Keenan K, Graham E,

    This Project is linked to the following Strand/s:

    Fertility and Family

    Overview

    Recent research reports a growing share of immigrant-native unions in the UK, possibly suggesting increased integration and social cohesion in British society. However, less is known about the fate of mixed-ethnic unions. Building on previous CPC research, this project investigates the stability of ethnically mixed unions. We extend previous research by examining the effect of exogamous unions on union stability in the UK and using a rich longitudinal dataset. We analyse the risk of the dissolution of marital unions that formed (and dissolved) between 2009 and 2016 using data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study. We compare dissolution risks between white British, and those of Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, or African origin as well as 'other white' and 'other' backgrounds. We test three competing hypotheses regarding divorce among mixed marriages: the dissimilarity/exogamy hypotheses, selection hypothesis, and convergence hypothesis. We find that the likelihood of divorce varies by ethnic group; it is highest among the Caribbean and lowest among the South-East Asian group. Ethnic endogamous marriages are the least likely to end in divorce whereas native endogamous, native exogamous, and ethnic exogamous marriages are equally likely to dissolve. This remains the same after we control for education. We speculate why our findings do not support any of the three hypotheses and set out our further plans.