Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mail-order bride

Mail-order bride is a label applied to a woman who intents to marry someone from another country. This label is considered offensive by many.

Mail-order brides traditionally come from developing countries. The great majority of these women are from Asia including the Philippines, countries of the former Soviet Union, and to a lesser extent from Latin America. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, large numbers of eastern European women advertised themselves in such a way; primarily being from Russia, Ukraine and Moldova. Even developed nations like Japan, Canada, and Sweden have large amounts of outgoing mail order brides. In the past, international marriage agencies allowed women to sign up to be listed in photo magazines; now the Internet has became the major supplier for mail order brides.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services report that "...marriages arranged through these services would appear to have a lower divorce rate than the nation as a whole, fully 80 percent of these marriages having lasted over the years for which reports are available." The USCIS also reports that "... mail-order bride and e-mail correspondence services result in 4,000 to 6,000 marriages between U.S. men and foreign brides each year."

The statistical office of Switzerland has published even more detailed statistics. In 1999, the divorce rate for domestic marriages (Swiss married to Swiss) in Switzerland were at a record high of 50%. In the same year, marriages with foreigners are comparatively better: Marriages between Swiss and German or Italian women have a slightly better divorce rate: 40%. Marriages between Brazilian or Thai women and Swiss turned out to be more durable than anyone could predict; the divorce rate reached the low rate of 30%. Unbelievably low divorce rates were reached at marriages with women from Colombia (20%). Marriages with women from Russia reached a rate of 15%; however, it must be noted that marriages between Swiss and Russians boom at the moment, and that the divorce rate is not that much meaningful, because the divorce rate rises with a time-lag. However, there are also marriages between Swiss and foreigners where the divorce rate is worse than the domestic rate: Marriages between Swiss and women from the Dominican Republic tend to work very badly, the divorce rate reached catastrophic sixty percent. Similarly, but not quite as bad, the divorce rate in marriages between Swiss and Philippine women reached 45%.

It can thus be concluded that the chance of survival of marriages to mail-order-brides does depend heavily on the bride's country of origin. Also, income and age difference play an important role. It could be statistically shown that the probability of a divorce declines 20% if the husband earned an income of more than 50,000 USD per year, and that the probability of a divorce increases if the age difference between groom and bride exceeds 15 years.