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Intermarriage among new immigrants in the USA

Author(s): Bohra-Mishra, Pratikshya; Massey, Douglas S.

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Abstract: The study uses the New Immigrant Survey data collected in 2003 to fill a void in the existing literature on the regional variations in exogamy among the new first generation immigrants in the United States. It further improves on some methodological issues in existing studies. Our empirical results show that immigrants from different regions of origin indeed vary significantly in their choice of spouse, even after controlling for other important predictors of exogamy. Latino females are the most exogamous of all groups while Latino males as well are more exogamous than their Asian male counterparts and do not differ much from male immigrants from Europe, Central Asia and the residual “other” category. The results are somewhat counterintuitive given the history of European immigration to the US, and the higher level of structural assimilation attained by Asians in the US compared to Latinos. The contradictory results therefore, point towards a rapid assimilation of Latin Americans into the US society. On the other hand, first generation Asians demonstrated the lowest level of all types of exogamy in general, except Asian women were not the most endogamous compared to Europeans, Central Asians and “other” residual category. The finding, once again is inconsistent with the history of European immigration. Finally, although Latinos are more exogamous, they preferred a Hispanic spouse than a non-Hispanic, which could be attributed to the common Spanish language shared by them. In contrast, lack of a common language among Asians might be contributing to their lowest intermarriage rate with other Asians, irrespective of gender.
Publication Date: 9-Apr-2015
Electronic Publication Date: 21-Aug-2014
Citation: Bohra-Mishra, Pratikshya, Massey, Douglas S.. (2015). Intermarriage among new immigrants in the USA. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38 (5), 734 - 758. doi:10.1080/01419870.2014.937726
DOI: doi:10.1080/01419870.2014.937726
ISSN: 0141-9870
EISSN: 1466-4356
Pages: 734 - 758
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Ethnic and Racial Studies
Version: Author's manuscript

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