Marital Assimilation or Not? Marriage Markets, Ethnoracial Diversity, and Marital Endogamy among U.S. Hispanics

Zhenchao Qian, Ohio State University
Daniel T. Lichter, Cornell University
Dmitry Tumin, Ohio State University

Intermarriage with native-born whites is regarded as an indicator of assimilation or social integration among immigrants. Yet, over the past two decades, the rapid growth of America’s Hispanic population has seemingly ushered in a “retreat from intermarriage;” the growing supply of co-ethnic immigrants has promoted greater marital endogamy and less out-marriage to whites. In this paper, we build on previous studies of Hispanic intermarriage by fitting multi-level models that evaluate the association between local marriage market conditions and Hispanic patterns of racial/ethnic intermarriage. We use microdata on recent marriages identified in the 2009-2011 American Community Survey, which can be linked to metropolitan-level marriage market indicators. Our guiding hypothesis is that growing ethnoracial diversity, residential segregation, and racial inequality provide uneven marriage market opportunities for intermarriage among Hispanics. As America moves toward a majority-minority society, patterns of inter-group contact and marital assimilation will be played out first in America’s racially-diverse cities.

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Presented in Session 71: Marriage Markets