Since the late nineteenth century, the rate of intermarriage betweenmembers of different European ethnic and cultural groups in Canada hasincreased and resulted in a gradual blending of these communities. Thisbook, the first detailed comparative study of ethno-religiousintermarriage, provides the background for understanding the dynamicsof intermarriage in a culturally pluralistic society like Canada.
Using, for the first time, data from the 1871 Census of Canada inconjunction with data from the 1971 Census, Madeline Richard delineatesthe general patterns of ethnic intermarriage in 1871 and 1971 andspecifically considers the trends for the English, Irish, Scotch,French, and Germans. Choosing a number of characteristics, such aslevel of literacy, nativity, age, and place of residence, for thehusbands, the author determines the odds for their marrying outsidetheir communities. She also examines the socio-demographiccharacteristics, such as group size, sex ratio, per cent urban, andlevel of literacy of each group to determine the marriage patterns ofthe husbands.
Richard's findings confirm that marital assimilation wasoccurring to some extent as early as 1871 and that the rate ofintermarriage has doubled since then. Of particular interest are themajor shifts exhibited by Irish, Scottish, and German husbands, who in1871 overwhelmingly married within their community, while in 1971 theytypically found their mates outside.
This book is not only about marital patterns; it is also about theethnic groups themselves. It gives detailed descriptions of theEnglish, Irish, Scottish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Polish,Scandinavian, Ukrainian, and other groups -- their immigration history,settlement patterns, and socio-demographic characteristics as these allhave some bearing on patterns of mate selection.