Interracial Marriage and Mortality: Evidence from the United States, 1986-2004

Yan-Liang Yu, Michigan State University
Zhenmei Zhang, Michigan State University

Previous research has noted the salient relationship between marital status and mortality: Married people enjoy longer life expectancy than the unmarried. However, little research has paid attention to the heterogeneity within the married population and examined the potential health consequences of interracial marriages. In light of persistent stigma and discrimination against interracial marriages, as well as their high dissolution rates, our study examines the relationship between interracial marriage and mortality among Blacks and Whites. We hypothesize that the interracially married suffer higher mortality risk than those in same-race marriage. We also examine gender as a potential moderator of the interracial marriage effect. Pooled Data from 1986 to 2004 from the Integrated Health Interview Series (IHIS) are used for our analysis. Cox regression results show that interracial marriage is significantly associated with higher mortality risk, controlling for socio-demographic covariates. However, there is no significant gender difference in interracial marriage effect.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 2