Intermarriage and Assimilation: Levels, Patterns, and Disparities in Levels of Exogamy among Arab Americans

Andrzej Kulczycki, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Peter Lobo, New York City Department of City Planning

Intermarriage is viewed as indicative of an immigrant group’s assimilation into its host society. This study investigates recent intermarriage levels and patterns for Arab Americans; evaluates how acculturation, cultural and structural factors affect their marital choices; and examines differences among Arab national-origin groups. We employ logistic regression analysis and use data from the 2007-11 American Community Survey that gives a sufficiently large sample. The relatively strong socio-economic status of Arab Americans, especially the native-born, leads us to expect high out-marriage rates. However, our earlier findings based on 1990 census data may no longer hold due to the doubling in size of this population and its disparagement since 9/11. The overall high levels of exogamy suggest Arab Americans are assimilating quickly. The predictors are largely similar for both sexes, but there are also some significant ethnic effects. We additionally look at the ethnic identification of children of out-married couples.

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Presented in Session 112: Measuring Race and Ethnicity