Younger Turkish, Moroccan 2nd generation marrying later

Men and women born in the Netherlands who have a Turkish or Moroccan migration background are increasingly likely to get married and have children later in life. This is shown in research on relationship and family formation among second-generation migrants carried out by the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI). The results have been published in Statistics Netherlands’ Annual Report on Integration 2018.

The study is based on register data which have been collected by Statistics Netherlands (CBS). What are the differences in relationship formation between native Dutch people and second-generation migrants? And, what are differences within the second generation between those who were born in 1980 and those born in 1990? The second generation were born in the Netherlands themselves and have at least one parent who was born abroad.

(English subtitles available)

Fewer married at a young age

Second-generation young adults of Turkish or Moroccan descent are more likely to be married than their native Dutch peers. The difference is, however, smaller among those born in 1990 compared to the cohort born in 1980. Among men and women of Turkish descent who were born in 1980, a share of 31 percent were married at the age of 21. This share was much lower - 9 percent - among men and women with the same background but born ten years later. The share has also decreased among the Moroccan origin group. Very few native Dutch people are already married at the age of 21. Among 26-year-olds as well, the share of married people is still relatively low in the younger birth cohorts. A decline is seen among the Turkish second generation (from 55 to 38 percent) as well as the Moroccan second generation (from 39 to 30 percent).

Married, by age and year of birth
   Native Dutch background (%)Turkish background, 2nd generation (%)Moroccan background, 2nd generation (%)
21 years19802.731.117.0
21 years19901.88.98.6
26 years198017.155.138.9
26 years199011.238.030.1

Also postponing motherhood

The second generation of Turkish or Moroccan descent who were born in 1990 are marrying later and have children later compared to those born ten years previously (1980). The gap is widest among the Turkish origin group, where women are usually married when they become mothers. The share of 21-year-old mothers with native Dutch, Turkish or Moroccan background is significantly smaller among the cohort born in 1990 compared to those born in 1980.
In these three origin groups, approximately 5 percent of the women born in 1990 were already mothers at age 21; among women born in 1980, this share still stood at 16 percent for Turkish and 12 percent for Moroccan women. At the age of 26, half of all women with a Turkish background and born in 1980 were mothers, versus 28 percent among the younger cohorts.

Mothers, by age and year of birth
   Native Dutch background (%)Turkish background, 2nd generation (%)Moroccan background, 2nd generation (%)
21 years19804.316.412.1
21 years19904.54.35.9
26 years198023.251.441.2
26 years199019.727.930.7

More likely a second-generation spouse

Second-generation Turkish or Moroccans in the Netherlands are most likely to marry someone who comes from the same background. This share stood at around 90 percent among those who were married at age 26. The share is slightly lower among people born in 1990 compared to the cohort born in 1980. Younger age cohorts are much more likely to have a marriage partner from the second generation, i.e. born in the Netherlands. Of the Turkish second generation born in 1980, 66 percent were married to someone born in Turkey; this had declined to 24 percent among the younger cohorts. In the Moroccan origin group, the share declined from 70 through to 29 percent.

Origin of 1st marriage partner, by person's year of birth
   1st generation, same background (%)2nd generation, same background (%)Native Dutch background (%)Other background (%)
Turkish 2nd generation198065.529.32.13.1
Turkish 2nd generation19902467.62.95.5
Moroccan 2nd generation198069.622.13.54.8
Moroccan 2nd generation199029.2595.36.5

This news release is based on Chapter 7 of the new Annual Report on Integration. This chapter also includes descriptions of the Surinamese and Antillean origin groups. In addition, this chapter addresses cohabitation without being married, as well as differences among the second generation between people with one versus two parents born outside of the Netherlands.