Ethnic endogamy in cross-nativity marriages

Gillian Stevens, University of Alberta

A substantial percentage of immigrants in the United States have native-born American spouses. The goal of this paper is to investigate whether cross-nativity marriages such as these are ethnically endogamous, i.e., the foreign-born spouse and American-born spouse have the same ethnic or national origins. In general, the results of the analyses, which rely on U.S. census data, show that levels of ethnic endogamy in cross-nativity marriages are low although levels vary widely across ethnic (or national origin) groups. The variation is partly attributable to structural factors put into place by the group’s demographic history in the United States but individuals’ characteristics, such as educational attainment, also play a role. The paper then discusses the implications of the results for understanding processes of ethnic assimilation through intermarriage in the United States

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Presented in Session 62: Bi-national marriages and marriage migration