Interracial Marriage Formation: Transition from Cohabitation to Marriage among Interracial and Same-Race Couples

Yilan Fu, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Few prior researches on marriage formation have emphasized a very distinct group – interracial cohabiting unions, whose pattern of transition into marriage may be very different from cohabiting unions in general. Using the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth,I compare the hazards of marriage/dissolution for interracial cohabiting couples to that of same-race couples. The results reveal that overall interracial unions are less likely to transit into marriage and more likely to separate. But variation is found when race combination of the couple is introduced. Compared to white/white couples, interracial couples involving an Asian are more prone to marriage; meanwhile, those involving a Black or Hispanic have lower chance of marriage. For same-race cohabitors, their hazard of marriage declines with duration and their hazard of disruption declines after the first few months and then increases near the fifth year of cohabitation. But no pattern is found among interracial couples.

Presented in Poster Session 1