Mixed marriages

There are nearly 3.5 million married couples in the Netherlands. In thirteen percent of these marriages, at least one of the partners was born outside the Netherlands. This percentage is higher than the percentage of non-Dutch born people in the population of the country. A total 1.5 million people who live in the Netherlands were not born here, nine percent of the population. The former percentage is higher than the latter because a large number of people born abroad are married to people born in the Netherlands.

There are nearly half a million married couples of whom one or both the partners were born abroad. In half of these, both partners come from another country. In the other half, there are slightly more couples with a foreign wife than with a foreign husband.

Mixed marriages, 2001

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Large differences

Traditionally many marriage migrants come from Belgium and Germany to the Netherlands. Slightly more women come from these countries to marry Dutch men than the other way around.

The composition of marriages with one partner of Mediterranean origin is remarkable. For example, two out of three Dutch-Italian marriages are between an Italian man and a Dutch woman. Many labour migrants arriving in the early sixties found a Dutch wife and stayed on here.

The situation is completely different for people from Turkey and Morocco, for whom mixed marriages are very rare: in more than 85 percent of marriages involving these nationalities, both partners come from the same country. More people from Suriname, on the other hand, marry a Dutch partner: one in three marriages are to Dutch born partners.

Argentinean women more popular than Argentinean men

Women from South America and countries like the Philippines and Thailand are popular among Dutch men. In 2000 there were some 600 married couples of whom one or both partners came from Argentina In half of these couples the woman was Argentinean, in one quarter the man and in the remaining quarter both partners came form Argentina.

Andries de Jong en Carel Harmsen