Quarter of Dutch Moroccans, Turks marry relatives
A quarter of Dutch Turks and 20 percent of Dutch Moroccans marry relatives.11 March 2008
AMSTERDAM - A quarter of Dutch Turks and 20 percent of Dutch Moroccans marry relatives, according to a study by the Royal Dutch Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM.
The study results were published in Dutch daily Volkskrant on Tuesday and are part of a long-term study, called Generation-R, in which researchers are following several thousand parents in Rotterdam on a long-term basis.
Among other issues, researchers are investigating marriages within families and the possible effect on children from such marriages.
Non-Western children in the Netherlands run a 40-percent higher risk of being stillborn than Western children.
The death rate among babies of non-Western parents is 30 percent higher than among children of Dutch-born parents.
Among the 3,756 Dutch-born parents participating in the study, 0.1 percent were married to a relative.
But among the 653 Turkish parents, 24 percent were married to a relative, while 22 percent of the 474 Moroccan parents married inside the family.
The percentages are comparable to those in Turkey and Morocco. Some 30 percent of Moroccans and 23 percent of Turks are married to relatives.
Internationally, 8 percent of children have parents who are related.
Children of related parents run a risk of getting two identical copies of genes, often resulting in birth defects.
Previous Dutch studies established that migrant parents of a child with birth defects tended to be married inside the family six times more often than Dutch-born parents of such children.
[Copyright dpa 2008]