Mixed-Ethnic Roma Partnerships and Ethnic Reproduction among Such Couples in the Last 20 Years in Hungary

Laura Szabó , Hungarian Demographic Research Institute

The demographic effect of mixed ethnic marriages appears in the next generations via the classification of the children of such marriages into one or another ethnic subpopulation. Quantifying these processes is especially important in the case of Roma, one of the largest ethnic minorities in East and Central European countries. Our question is, if there is a sign of ethnic assimilation of children born in Roma mixed-ethnic partnerships in 1990 and 2011 in Hungary. We are using the individual level data from full population national censuses from these years. As a first step in our analysis we review the prevalence of Roma mixed ethnic partnerships in Hungary in 1990 and 2011. Our results indicate that the share of Roma mixed-ethnic partnerships has increased in the last 20 years. As indicated by multivariate analyses, the probability to enter in a Roma mixed-ethnic partnership increased with increasing age and educational attainment. Next we examine how the ethnicity of children born in such partnerships is classified by parents. 57 percent of children in Roma mixed-ethnic partnership is identified as non-Roma by their parents in 2011 in Hungary. The higher the educational attainment of Roma mothers and Roma fathers, the less likely they are to report their child as Roma, controlled for the sex, age groups and place of residence of parents. We tend to conclude that our results do not reinforce the awareness/competition, but rather the assimilation hypothesis.

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 Presented in Session 43. Homogamy and intermarriage