Educational Assortative Mating among New Immigrants to the United States

Veena S. Kulkarni, Arkansas State University

Previous research indicates that marital decisions reflect an intersection of cultural, economic and structural factors. Further, immigrant marital patterns are considered a measure of structural assimilation. Immigrants, relative to natives, experience distinct marriage markets. Immigrant mating options are shaped by immigration laws in addition to socioeconomic and cultural factors. Present study employing the 2003 New Immigrant Survey (NIS) examines educational assortative mating as measured by homogamy, hypergamy and hypogamy for new legal permanent residents. Preliminary results show the significance of mode of entry as measured by visa status on the likelihood of entering into a homogamous or hypergamous or hypogamous union. Individuals with employer based visa are more likely to marry homogamously relative to those who entered on spousal or diversity visas. Further, having received education in United States increases the likelihood of homogamy. The findings suggest the significance of immigration policies in shaping present and future family formation processes.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Marriage, Unions, Families and Households