Towards an annual measure of prevalence for intermarriages in European countries
Giampaolo Lanzieri, European Commission, Eurostat
The important migratory flows that have entered in Europe in the recent years and the perspective of immigration as partial solution to ageing populations have brought the issue of the integration of migrants to the attention of policy-makers, especially within the European Union (EU). Two sets of measures of integration (MIPEX and Zaragoza indicators) have been already proposed for policy purposes, but none of them include yet an indicator based on intermarriages, traditionally an important measure of social integration. In an earlier paper on recent trends of intermarriages in Europe, the author has compared various annual measures of intermarriage and discussed their potential interpretation in terms of integration/assimilation of migrants. However, these latter indicators are based on the annual number of mixed events and they are therefore measures of incidence/flows. In the current paper the author exploits two annual EU sample surveys (the Statistics on Income and Living Conditions and the Labour Force Survey) to derive annual measures of prevalence of intermarriages. In the centenarian tradition of studies on intermarriages, measures of stock are mainly derived from censuses, which have obviously a much wider time span and are thus less fit for the monitoring of migrants integration in rapidly evolving situation like in the nowadays EU. In lack of information from population registers or alternative exploitable administrative sources, annual large sample surveys may be a precious source of information for integration monitoring. EU-SILC and EU-LFS allows estimating annually the number of mixed couples based on country of birth and country of citizenships of the spouses. The study investigates pro and cons of EU-SILC and EU-LFS as sources for intermarriages prevalence, and analyses the recent values for the EU Member States.