Ethnic Intermarriages

October 25th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald has interesting data on the proportion of NZers who have married someone of a different ethnicity. In order they are:

  • Asian females 8%
  • European females 12%
  • European males 13%
  • Asian males 22%
  • Pacific males 36%
  • Pacific females 48%
  • Maori males 71%
  • Maori females 73%

I think intermarriage is a good thing in society, Without it you run the risk of non-integration and segregation. Of course on an individual level it should be about whom you love, but it is good to see at a societal level there doesn’t appear to be huge resistance to marrying people of a different ethnicity.

Civil Unions dying off

May 5th, 2015 at 3:27 pm by David Farrar

The latest marriage and civil union stats are out.

There were only 69 civil unions in the year to March 2015. Down from 124 the previous year and 358 the year prior to that. 40 of the civil unions were opposite sex couples and 29 same sex couples.

Marriages are increasing – 23,146 in the last year, up from 22,629 and 22,121. Thats a 2.3% increase in the last year.

Opposite-sex marriages are up 1.3%, and same-sex marriages up 34%.

Of the 23,146 marriages, 96.1% were for opposite sex couples, and 3.9% for same sex couples. There were a total of 982 same sex marriages in the last year.

Marriage in Luxembourg

June 20th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Lawmakers in Luxembourg, whose prime minister is openly gay, has overwhelmingly approved changes in the small European nation’s legislation governing marriage that will allow people of the same sex to wed and to adopt children.

Sort of amusing that they have a gay PM before they have gay marriage. A country with a PM who couldn’t get married (well not to someone he is attracted to).

But that isn’t what I found most interesting:

Under the reform, Luxembourg’s legislators also fixed the legal age for marriage at 18 and dropped existing legal requirements for a pre-wedding medical exam, as well as the 300-day waiting period that had been imposed on widows or widowers before they could remarry. 

They required a pre-wedding medical exam!! And had a waiting period for widows!

Other strange laws they had:

  • Girls could marry at 16 but boys only at 18
  • Only civil marriages are recognised
  • The blood tests must be within 2 months of the marriage


May 6th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stats NZ has the latest marriage stats. Key data:

  • 19,237 resident marriages – lowest level since at least 1978
  • Marriage rate per 1,000 non married adults is 10.85. Was 15.49 in 2000, 22.19 in 1990, 29.35 in 1980 – so one third of 1980.
  • Median age for marriage is 32.4 for men and 30.4 for women. Fir first time marrieds 30.1 for men and 28.6 for women.
  • Divorces also down – 8,279 which is lowest since 1980. Divorce rate per 1,000 is 9.4
  • Marriages are lasting longer – median duration of marriage that divorces is 14.2 years. Was 13.1 in 2000.
  • 233 civil unions, down from 390 the year before. 74 are opposite sex and 159 same sex.
  • Of 19,237 resident marriages, 19,028 are opposite sex and 209 same sex.
  • Of 2,416 non-resident marriages 2,270 are opposite sex and 146 same sex

A nation of intermarriage

March 21st, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Simon Collins writes in NZ Herald:

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of the 17,300 babies born in New Zealand last year with Maori ethnicity were also registered with at least one other ethnicity.

The same applies to 50 per cent of Pacific babies, 31 per cent of Asian babies and 29 per cent of European babies.

Similarly, 69 per cent of people in couples who listed Maori as one of their ethnicities in last year’s Census had partners with no Maori ethnicity, 46 per cent of Pacific people had partners with no Pacific ethnicity, 24 per cent of Asians had partners with no Asian ethnicity, and 12 per cent of Europeans had partners with no European ethnicity.

This is not new. NZ has always had a relatively high inter-marriage rate, which I think is partly why our race relations are so much better (not perfect) than say Australia and the US.

The figures are even more extraordinary for Pacific and Asian people in couples where both partners were born in New Zealand. Fully 78 per cent of such Pacific people, and 82 per cent of Asians, had partners with no Pacific or Asian ethnicity.

So first generation immigrants tend to marry their own race, but second generation generally do not.

Unmarried parents

July 19th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post reported:

New Zealand society is near tipping point, with the number of children born outside wedlock fast approaching those born to married parents for the first time.

Statistics New Zealand figures show there were just 1000 more children born to married parents in the March quarter.

That is well down on the year 2000, when children born to unwed parents were outnumbered by more than seven to one.

In 1980 the gap was close to 30,000, while in 1951 the number of children born to unmarried parents was just 2000, compared to the 48,000 born to married parents.

It is unclear if civil unions are included in “wedlock” for the purposes of this data.

I’m quite traditional personally when it comes to marriage and children, and think ideally parents should be married to each other if they are having kids together. I like the fact it is a life-long commitment (even though of course many fail). If you have kids with someone, you are connected to them for the rest of your lives.

However many adults have long-lasting relationships, and are not married. They just don’t believe in the institution. I don’t think there is a huge difference between them and married couples when it comes to welfare of children.

Where there is a big disparity, is when the parents do not stay together.  On average (so not all kids), kids raised in a one parent household do far far worse in almost every social and economic indicator.

So I’m not worried if parents are married to each other or not. What concerns me is whether they will stay together while their kids are young – and need both parents.

Marriages, Unions and Divorces

May 4th, 2013 at 9:44 am by David Farrar

Interesting data from Stats NZ.

  • 20,521 marriages in 2012. The number of marriages has been fairly constant for the last 20 years
  • The marriage rate per 1,000 non-married adults has fallen from 32 in 1977 to 11.8 in 2012.
  • The median age of bridegrooms was 32.3 and brides 30.2
  • In 1983 it was 26.5 and 23.9 respectively
  • The divorce rate is 10.1 per 1,000 marriages. This has fallen in recent years from a high of 17.1 in 1982
  • The median duration of a marriage that divorces is 13.7 years and the median age for divorcing is 45.7 for men and 43.2 for women
  • There have been 2,981 civil unions since 2005. 592 were heterosexual couples, 1,033 were gay couples and 1,356 were lesbian couples

Interracial marriage

January 28th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar


This graph is from Stats Chat. It’s amazing how much views have changed over 50 years. In 1958 only 4% of Americans approved on interracial marriage. That implies both a majority of white and black Americians were against interracial marriage.

The poll is from 2011, but I was fascinated enough by the chart to look up the source data. As Stats Chat pointed out, still a bit alarming 14% don’t approve of interracial marriage, but what I found interesting was the breakdown of the approval rate by age. It was:

  • Under 30s 97%
  • 30 to 50 91%
  • 50 to 64 88%
  • Over 65s 66%

So almost one in three Americans aged over 65 disapprove of interracial marriage. Very interesting when you consider the opposition in NZ to same sex marriage is primarily (but of course not exclusively) over 65s.


Coolest marriage proposal yet

May 28th, 2012 at 7:00 pm by David Farrar


This is just beautiful, and funny.

Always know the answer

January 11th, 2012 at 8:41 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A hopeful groom-to-be suffered the most public of rejections when his proposal at a basketball game was blocked in front of hundreds of fans.

The young man got down on one knee at the UCLA game in California and pulled out a ring live on the stadium’s “mistletoe cam” just before Christmas.

“I knew I was going to do this the first day I met you, so I know this is going to sound corny but … will you marry me?” he said.

But rather than a happy yes, the young woman shook her head.

Her boyfriend could only watch in horror as she grabbed her bag and left the area to jeers from the crowd.

In politics there is a saying, that you should never ask a question that you do not already know the answer to.

I think the same maxim should apply to marriage proposals – or at least public marriage proposals.

A successful public marriage proposal can be sweet and endearing and a memory to last a lifetime. But you should not be doing it unless you are absolutely sure what the answer will be.

Is marriage a historical relic?

June 20th, 2011 at 12:17 pm by David Farrar

That’s the question I pose over at Stuff.

Marriage in the United States

January 8th, 2010 at 1:07 pm by David Farrar

Mixed race marriages

October 18th, 2009 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

AFP reports:

AN interracial couple in Louisiana have been denied a marriage license by an official who considers their union morally wrong, according to local media.

“I’m not a racist,” Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace in rural Tangipahoa Parish, told the Hammond Star.

“I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house. My main concern is for the children.”

Mr Bardwell told the paper that he believes interracial marriages do not last and that the children of such unions are not accepted by either the black or white community.

Now of course Bardwell is bonkers to think it is his job to decide whether or not a couple should be able to get married, based on his beliefs. He does the classic groupist error of applying a generalisation to everyone (and of thinking it is his decision anyway).

It did get me interested in what is the prevalance of “mixed race” marriages and whether or not their divorce rates are higher than “same race” marriages.

In NZ we have traditionally had a high rate of mixed race marriages, as all modern Maori New Zealanders have at least one European ancestor. I do wonder if we have current stats on this – presumably the census data could reveal this.

In the US, only 2.8% of black women and 6.6% of black men had a white spouse. While 41% of Asian women have a white husband and 36% of Asian men have a white wife. So a big difference in prevalence depending on the races involved.

In terms of divorce rates Wikipedia says:

Marital stability studies published on the Education Resources Information Center found that White female-Black male unions are more prone to result in a divorce than White-White marriages are, while Black female-White male marriages show similar or lower risks of divorce than White-White marriages.

So Bardwell is wrong with his generalisation also.

As I said, I would be interested to see what the prevalence of mixed race/culture marriages are in NZ, and if there are differences in the divorce rates. Anyone know of any studies already done?