Economic and social conditions for women in Russia and other Postsoviet countries are a motivational factor in finding foreign arrangements.
52 percent of Russia’s workforce is made up of women, yet they often hold low positions of prominence in their home country and work jobs with less respect and lower wage (such as teaching or physician positions); Finding a foreign husband gives a woman a chance to leave her country and find better economic opportunities.
This network of smaller international marriage agencies is often affiliated with web-based international dating sites that are able to market their services on a larger scale, in compliance with regulations such as the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act.
Experian, a market research firm, reports that the top 10 international dating sites attracted 12 million visitors in March 2013, up 29% from March 2012.
There are at least two historical roots of the mail-order bride industry that emerged in the 1800s in the American frontier: Asian workers in the frontier regions (although Asian workers were scattered throughout the world), and American men who had headed west across the United States to work out on the frontier.
European American men found financial success in the migration West, but the one thing that was missing was the company of a wife.
However, many consider the term "mail-order bride" derogatory and feel it demeans foreign women by comparing them to commodities for sale and by falsely implying that (unlike local women), they exercise no judgment over the men they meet and would marry anyone from a relatively wealthy country.
Few agencies still offer introductions and excursions, but pioneering marriage agency A Foreign Affair still conducts these services.
In the twenty-first century, the trend is now based primarily on internet-based meeting places which do not per se qualify as mail-order bride services.The majority of the women listed in the twentieth-century and twenty-first-century services are from Southeast Asia, countries of the former Eastern Bloc and (to a lesser extent) from Latin America.Since the collapse of the Soviet Union large numbers of eastern European women have advertised themselves in such a way, primarily from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova.Asian men also worked through mail-order agencies to find wives as they worked overseas in the 1800s.Key variables determining the relationship between migration and marriage were demographics, legal policies, cultural perceptions and technology.Marriage is a substantial part of Russian culture, with 30 years being the age at which a woman is considered an "old maid".With 4,138,273 more women than men from the ages of 15 to 64, marriage opportunities are slim at home and worsened by the life expectancy difference between men (64.3 years) and women (73.17 years), as well as the fact that a large portion of successful males are emigrating out of Russia.Very few women lived there at this time, so it was hard for these men to settle down and start a family.They attempted to attract women living back East; the men wrote letters to churches and published personal advertisements in magazines and newspapers.Mail-order brides work with "international marriage agencies".An international marriage agency (also called an international introduction agency or international marriage broker) is a business that endeavors to introduce men and women of different countries for the purpose of marriage, dating, or correspondence.