Spatial homogamy, or sharing a similarity in geographical origin, is an under-researched dimension in homogamy studies. In the Netherlands, people tend to choose spatially homogamous partners. Moreover, there is considerable regional variation in spatial homogamy, even when residential location and population density are controlled for. This study aims to explain the regional variation in spatial homogamy by means of a spatial regression. Three sets of explanations are taken into account: compositional effects, spatial determinants, and regional cultural differences. The data used consists of a unique geo-coded micro dataset on all new cohabiters in the Netherlands in 2004 (N = 289,248), combined with other data from varying sources. In the spatial regression, the dependent variable is the standardized distance coefficient, based on the distance between partners before cohabitation, standardised for the average distance to other inhabitants. We find that especially educational, income and cultural differences contribute to the regional variation in spatial homogamy.
keywords: partner choice; homogamy; spatial patterns; standardized distance coefficient; spatial econometrics;The Netherlands