Intermarriage and Social Distance in Multiracial America: Results from the 2000 Census

Joshua R. Goldstein, Princeton University
Barbara S. Okun, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Will America become a multiracial melting pot in which racial distinctions disappear, or will some groups remain separate while others mix? In this paper, we use intermarriage patterns to explore the social position of single and multiracial groups. We look at the marriage patterns of couples in the 2000 census, using log-multiplicative models to assign distance scores to multiracial and single race groups based on their choice of marriage partners. We find that most mixed race groups receive scores in-between their single race constituents. Those with any Black identity, however, have marriage patterns that are indistinguishable from single-race Blacks. These results suggest that the divide between Blacks and non-Blacks will continue to be the major barrier in American society, even as intermarriage increases.

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Presented in Session 57: Intermarriage: Trends and Consequences II