Religious Intermarriage in Canada and Implications for Assimilation and Integration

Sharon M. Lee, University of Victoria
Feng Hou, Statistics Canada
Barry Edmonston, University of Victoria

We analyze data from the 2011 National Household Survey to examine religious intermarriage and implications for assimilation and integration in Canada. The study sample consists of 1.5 million opposite-sex unions. We describe the main patterns and forms of religious intermarriage in Canada, and conduct multivariate analyses using log-linear models and two-level nested logit models to assess how key factors including race or visible minority status, ethnic origin, immigrant generation, education, and gender influence religious intermarriage. Preliminary descriptive findings show that about 20 percent of unions are inter-religious. There are gender differences: Protestant, Catholic, and Buddhist wives are less endogamous than husbands from similar religions while Jewish, Muslim, and no religion husbands are less endogamous than wives from similar religious backgrounds. Most inter-religious unions comprise partners who identify as Christian (Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox Christian), Jewish, or no religion. Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims have strikingly low religious intermarriage percentages.

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Presented in Session 111: Assimilation and Integration: International Perspectives