International Marriages Between Eastern European-Born Women and U.S.-Born Men


Department of Family and Social Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108 (


Globalization has increased the occurrence of “international marriages” due to expanded marriage markets resulting from increased travel and communication avenues. Although Eastern Europe is one of the top three regions of origin for marriage migrants, little is known about who chooses this type of marriage arrangement. This study describes demographic characteristics of Eastern European-U.S. international marriages using a nationally representative sample (N = 442) from the American Community Survey, 2008–2009. Paired t test, chi-square, and ANOVA analyses were used to assess within-couple and between-couple differences. Spouses in Eastern-European-U.S. couples were found to differ significantly by age, income, education, and number of previous marriages. Results showed that marriages between Eastern European wives and U.S. husbands differed in important ways from marriages between U.S. citizens. Findings support both status homogamy and status exchange theories of international mate selection.