Spatial homogamy in the Netherlands: mapping distances between partners

Karen Haandrikman, University of Groningen
Leo van Wissen, University of Groningen and Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Carel Harmsen, Statistics Netherlands
Inge Hutter, University of Groningen

The spatial dimension of the partner market is underexposed in research on recent marriage patterns. When distance decay is applied to partner choice, we can state that the number of unions declines as the distance between potential partners increases. The main research questions of this paper are: To what extent are partners spatially homogamous in the Netherlands? Secondly, can regional and spatial patterns concerning spatial homogamy be identified? We use individual longitudinal data from the population register for the period 1995-2005. For couples who start a shared living, the former addresses of both partners are compared. For all postal codes, distances between partners before shared living are calculated and analysed using a Geographic Information System. Data are aggregated for year of cohabitation and region. We expect the spatial dimension to be important in partner choice, and to be stronger in regions where religion has an important meaning to the population.

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Presented in Poster Session 1