So far, most studies have examined the role of peers in school achievement, language acquisition and ethnic identity of second-generation migrants.This paper contributes to the
literature first of all by studying how non-family networks influence union formation decisions of the second generation. Secondly, making a distinction between types of contact adds a new perspective to the study of network influence on union formation whereby strong ties consist of close friends and weak ties of acquaintances. Thirdly, comparing the relative importance of non-co-ethnic networks among men and women of two
ethnic groups that share broad cultural and social similarities reveals the importance of
these networks for different origin groups. Finally, studying multiple aspects of union formation enables a better assessment of the importance of social embeddedness into non-co-ethnic networks for choices in the family domain. In this paper, four aspects of union formation are covered, namely the timing of first union, timing of the first marriage,
the type of union that is chosen and the ethnic origin of the partner.