Friday, February 12, 2010

Race, ethnicity, and attitudes toward inter-ethnic marriage

The Midlife Development in the United States Study asked Americans how important it is for members of their ethnic group to marry inside the group. Here are the percentages who said "very important" or "somewhat important" (N = 4,881): 

Jewish 47.4
Asian 42.3
Amerindian 37.3
Black 34.6
Hispanic 33.8
English 28.4
French 19.7
Italian 19.1
Scottish 18.5
Irish 18.3
Polish 16.3
German 16.0
Swedish 15.8
Norwegian 15.2

Non-whites and especially Jewish Americans have high numbers. 


  1. Anonymous7:25 AM

    I wonder how different that would be if it did not include European-Christian descended groups marrying amongst themselves (e.g. for Scottish Americans not to marry French Americans is probably not equal to their attitude about marrying Jewish Americans, &c.). Probably not very different overall though.

  2. Anonymous10:27 AM

    I think SE Asian Indians would rank #1 if broken out as a separate group.

    It would also be interesting to see this numbers based upon religion/religiousity (Jewish Orthodox, Syrian Christian, Amish) and ethnicity/USBornGeneration (Armenian, Korean, Mexican).

  3. Anonymous11:28 AM

    I see a trend: groups that score high on pro-interethnic marriage are people that feel hated and/or persecuted, hence develop a strong solidarity.
    That doesn't explain much for the Asian score, EXCEPT for those that left their old homelands for political reasons (Vietnamese, mainland Chinese).
    And it also doesn't say much for the relatively low Irish score (early Irish immigrants were treated harshly, and have a history of being oppressed by England).
    But nobody has really messed with Scandinavians.

  4. Steve7:24 PM

    I'm surprised the English are that high. Are there really that many people in the US who call themselves English and are more than say 5/8 English blood?

    Also, when an European-American says he thinks someone from his ethnic group should marry within the same ethnic group, is it possible they are misunderstanding the question and just mean other whites?

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