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Journal Article

Racial and Educational Homogamy: 1980 to 2000

Xuanning Fu and Tim B. Heaton
Sociological Perspectives
Vol. 51, No. 4 (Winter 2008), pp. 735-758
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
DOI: 10.1525/sop.2008.51.4.735
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Page Count: 24
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Racial and Educational Homogamy: 1980 to 2000
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Two recent trends in marriage imply different consequences for the degree of heterogeneity in American society: Increasing racial intermarriage indicates higher levels of social integration, while continued educational homogamy potentially enlarges socioeconomic inequality. This article analyzes census 5 percent Public Use Micro Samples data from 1980 to 2000 and examines the two trends simultaneously. Results suggest that racial homogamy has gradually declined but remains as the strongest pattern. Educational homogamy shows a diverse pattern of change, with an overall flat or slightly declining trend, and the best educated and the least educated are both more homogamous than those who have intermediate levels of education. Those who intermarry by race tend to have higher levels of education, and there is a modest positive relationship between racial and educational heterogamy.

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