Dating outside social class

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By Wendy Wang This report analyzes the demographic and economic characteristics of newlyweds who marry spouses of a different race or ethnicity, and compares the traits of those who “marry out” with those who “marry in.” The newlywed pairs are grouped by the race and ethnicity of the husband and wife, and are compared in terms of earnings, education, age of spouse, region of residence and other characteristics.

This report is primarily based on the Pew Research Center’s analysis of data from the U. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) in 2008-2010 and on findings from three of the Center’s own nationwide telephone surveys that explore public attitudes toward intermarriage.

The phrase “finding a man who wants to be a grown-up” came up several times.

This response summarized the challenge nicely: “Meeting a man who I feel compatible with, feeling attracted to that same man AND having him treat me well.” This is what all the online dating methods call the phase.

Newlyweds are a subset of the “currently married” population, which includes individuals whose marital status is “married, spouse present.” When comparing characteristics of detailed groups of newlyweds by race/ethnicity as well as gender patterns, only intermarried couples involving a white spouse are analyzed, and they represent about 68% of all intermarried newlywed couples between 20.

For illustration purposes, “/” (not specifying gender) and “-” (specifying gender) are used to indicate different types of couples.

All references in this report to whites, blacks, and Asians refer to the non-Hispanic portions of those groups. Paul Taylor, director of the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project, provided the editorial guidance and also edited the report.Most gratifying were the responses from some of you saying, “Omigod, this is happening to me right now! I’m in a similar situation; however, I believe he’s the first man I’ve ever truly loved.He has commitment issues and will never really settle down with me.For example, “White/Asian” indicates intermarried couples between whites and Asians.“White-Asian” means that the husband is white and the wife is Asian, in that order.

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