Demographic Sources of Marriage Rate Differences between Anglo and Hispanic Women

Richard N. Turner, Cornell University

With newly-released American Community Survey data, this study investigates the demographic underpinnings of marriage rate differences between Anglo and Hispanic women. Regression decomposition techniques are utilized to measure the effect of ethnic differentials in average levels of economic resources, mate availability, cultural incorporation, and premarital fertility on corresponding gaps in marriage incidence. The marriage patterns of Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans are compared to those of whites and blacks. Preliminary analysis indicates that Mexican Americans and whites marry at similar rates, African Americans are approximately half as likely as these groups to marry, and Puerto Rican marriage levels fall between the two extremes. Hispanic women’s economic disadvantages appear to reduce their marriage prospects in comparison to whites' and blacks'. However, these effects seem to be offset by Latinas’ greater access to single men with stable employment and their higher probability of being foreign-born.

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Presented in Poster Session 1