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. Given the significant size and diversity of immigrant population, their marriage patterns potentially impact social inequality. 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. This study using the 2003 New Immigrant Survey (NIS) examines educational assortative mating for the new legal residents. NIS is the first dataset to provide information on couples’ place of schooling (whether received in home country versus in the U.S.), mode of entry, timing of visa transitions. Preliminary results estimating homogamy, hypergamy and hypogamy on the dependent variable, educational attainment, suggest significant differences by place of having received education, region of residence, mode of entry.

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Presented in Poster Session 4