Gendered Patterns, Socio-Demographic Differences and Changing Ideals in Marriage Formation in Sweden – Evidence from Patterns of “Digit Preferences”

Sofi Ohlsson, Stockholm University

This study examines “digit preferences” in marriage formation in Sweden, more precisely the heightened propensity to marry in connection with specific birthdays and dates, and its socio-economic and demographic correlates. Sweden is an especially interesting context for research on marriage formation as it has been a fore-runner in declining marriage trends, but since the late 1990s have shown increasing trends. When applying event-history techniques to Swedish register data, I find that first marriage risks clearly increase at exact ages 30, 40 and 50 and there is also a noticeable peak in the year 2000. Possible gender differences in these age peaks might reflect gendered patterns in the initiation of marriage decisions. Observed differences in digit preferences in marriage formation across socio-economic and demographic groups might reflect pertinent differences in the view of marriage, and an increasing magnitude of age peaks over time might signal changing ideals and practices.

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Presented in Poster Session 7