Ethnic Preferences in Online Dating: A 24 Country International Comparison

Melinda Mills , University of Oxford
Riley Taiji, University of Oxford

This paper provides the first global analysis of ethnic-related partner preferences of online daters. We examine 24 countries in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and – uniquely, South America and Africa. Examining preferences for partners with a similar (in-group) or different (out-group) ethnic background, we ask if the size of the minority population and immigration climate (attitudes, policies) play a role. We do this at the national and then more fine-grained regional level. We find a preference for in-groups, hierarchy of preferences amongst majority and minority groups and gender differences. Daters in countries with a large foreign-born population have an increased preference for minority groups. Anti-immigrant attitudes and restrictive migrant policies are associated with stronger in-group preferences for majority groups. Fine-grained regional analysis show differences by gender and in largely white homogenous counties (e.g., US). We reflect on the implications of our results for immigrant integration policies.

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 Presented in Session 16. Ethnic and Migrant Partnership Formation