Educational Homogamy of Mexicans in Mexico and in the USA: What Difference Does Gender, Generation, Ethnicity, and Educational Attainment Make in Marriage Patterns?

Albert Esteve, Centre d'Estudis DemogrĂ fics
Robert McCaa, University of Minnesota

The ebb-and-flow of immigration of Mexicans to the United States is leading to a binational marriage market. We combine microdata samples from the 1970 to 2000 censuses of the United States and Mexico to compare educational homogamy in Mexico with patterns for Mexican-born, Mexican-origin, and non-Hispanic White couples resident in the United States. We examine the extent to which Mexican patterns of educational assortative mating in the United States differ from those of Mexico and gravitate toward those of non-Hispanic Whites. Gender, generation, ethnicity, and time must be taken into account to derive complete, parsimonious loglinear models of mating patterns. Alternative models, such as gender symmetry/asymmetry, homogamy, and segmented assimilation are considered as well. We conclude that Mexicans marrying in the United States depart markedly from both the strongly homogamous patterns in Mexico as well as the striking gender asymmetry. The most remarkable patterns are for inter-ethnic and inter-generational unions.

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Presented in Session 63: Key Demographic Changes among the U.S. Latino Population