Marriage before children? First family formation among the children of immigrants in Norway
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- Discussion Papers 
Differences in the timing and pathway into family life provide insights into the social distance between majority and immigrant-background groups. Increasing similarity in these processes across immigrant generations may indicate blurring of group distinctions. We situate our study in Norway, a country on the forefront of family change with an increasingly diverse population. Using administrative register data and discrete-time event history models, we demonstrate differential timings and propensities to form families via marriage or a nonmarital first birth among the majority population and the children of immigrants from ten countries of (parental) origin in Europe, the Middle East, East Africa, South Asia, South-East Asia and Latin America. Results demonstrated a generational shift toward the Nordic late marriage pattern among women and men originating from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Iran and Vietnam and men with origins in Turkey. We find limited evidence of generational shifts in the propensity to form a family via a nonmarital first birth, however, in some context, those who form families via this pathway also follow the majority timing pattern, regardless of background or generation. Findings suggest that jointly investigating the timing of family formation and distinct pathways into family life provides new insights into the gradations in and the context of adaptation and diminishing social distance between groups in diverse societies.