Immigrant Assimilation in Australia: Is Intermarriage a Yardstick for Assimilation?

Peter D. Brandon, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)

Like the United States and many other industrialized nations, Australia has a large immigrant population. Of central concern to Australian society is whether the diverse migrant groups coming to Australia assimilate. To assess how well immigrants assimilate, Australia has invested many resources benchmarking immigrants’ economic mobility, spatial concentrations, and social inclusion and participation. However, intermarriage, another measure of assimilation, has been largely overlooked in Australia. This paper fills a gap in the Australian immigrant assimilation literature by examining intermarriage by generational status and by place of origin in an effort to measure another pathway to assimilation. Using data from the Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey, the study finds high rates of intermarriage among second- and third-generation immigrants. On the other hand, immigrants from the same places of origin have higher odds of marrying each other compared with marrying native-born Australians or immigrants from alternative places of origin.

Presented in Session 164: International Perspectives on Integration and Assimilation