Union formation and dissolution among immigrants and their descendants in the British welfare state context
Tina Hannemann, University of Liverpool
Hill Kulu, University of Liverpool
This study investigates union formation and dissolution among immigrants and their descendants in the UK. Although there is a growing literature on the dynamics of immigrant fertility and mixed marriages, partnership trajectories among immigrants and ethnic minorities are little studied. We use data from the Understanding Society study and apply the techniques of event history analysis. We contrast partnership trajectories of various immigrant groups and compare these with those of the ‘native’ British population. The analysis shows significant differences in partnership formation and dissolution among immigrants and ethnic minorities. Women of Caribbean origin have the highest cohabitation and the lowest marriage rates, whereas cohabitation remains rare among immigrants from South Asia and their descendants, as most of them marry directly. Immigrants from the Caribbean region and their descendants also show higher divorce rates than ‘native’ British women, whereas women of South Asian origin have a low divorce risk.