Intermarriage among new immigrants in the USA

Pratikshya Bohra-Mishra, Douglas S. Massey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Using the 2003 New Immigrant Survey data, we explore marital behaviour among new immigrants in the USA. Marital assimilation with mainstream US natives was highest among European immigrants, followed by Latin Americans, Southeast Asians, East Asians, and finally South Asians. There is no single ‘Asian’ pattern of marital assimilation. While South Asians and East Asians defy the classical assimilation theory with their strong resistance to intermarriage within the mainstream despite their high degree of structural assimilation, Southeast Asians display high rates of such marital assimilation. Europeans, as predicted by classical theory, evince high rate of marital assimilation. Latin Americans and Southeast Asians lie in between the two extremes of Europeans and other Asian subgroups. While they seem to follow a path of segmented assimilation by demonstrating within-region endogamy, compared to Europeans they have only a slightly higher propensity to marry within their nationality, suggesting ongoing assimilation along classical lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)734-758
Number of pages25
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 9 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • assimilation theory
  • immigrant intermarriage
  • intermarriage among new immigrants
  • marital assimilation
  • New Immigrant Survey
  • pan-ethnic marriage


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