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Hispanic Intermarriage in the U.S.  

The term Hispanic is a pan-ethnic term that encompasses Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Central Americans, and South America, and consists of citizens and non-citizens.   The largest group is Mexicans. Hispanic intermarriage refers to Hispanics who marry someone who is not Hispanic.

     Each succeeding Hispanic generation marries outside the group in larger numbers with the third and later generations marrying out of the group at the highest rate.   It is estimated that 30% of all Hispanic men and 26% of all Hispanic women are married to a non-Hispanic.   

      Hispanics who are foreign-born are much less likely to marry a non-Hispanic. More than 50% of foreign-born Hispanics marry someone who is also foreign-born Hispanic   Approximately 15% of foreign-born Hispanics married U.S-born Hispanics.   

     The group with whom Hispanics marry the most are whites, 85%, followed by Blacks, 10%, and Others, 5%.  Approximately 60% of Hispanics consider themselves part of the white race so perhaps their intermarriage rates with whites should not surprise.   

     Education is also a factor.   Hispanic college graduates tend to have the highest rates of marrying someone who is not Hispanic because the pool of eligible Hispanics shrinks as one moves up the educational ladder.  Consider that Hispanics who earn a college degree are seven times more likely to marry a white person in comparison to Hispanics who have not completed high school.   Also, older Hispanic women tend to marry out of the group more than younger women indicating that the older women cast a wider net.   

     Hispanic culture does not necessarily die in intermarriage.  Both Hispanic and White women play a greater role in perpetuating the culture especially in the areas of food, holiday traditions, and family.  It is also true, however, that among the children of intermarried couples Hispanic culture tends to fade.

     Couples who are married to someone of another race have higher divorce rates, 41 percent, in comparison to couples in same-race marriages, 31 percent.  Interracial couples who married young, less than 26 years of age, are more likely to divorce than interracial couples who married later in life.   

     The relatively high intermarriage rates among U.S.-born Hispanics mean that they socialize more with whites than with other groups outside of their own.   In many large cities where Hispanics reside there are always Hispanics who are moderately integrated into white neighborhoods, attend predominately white schools, and hence have more opportunities to interact with whites.

     Continuous Immigration from Mexico and Central American countries means that there will always be an assimilation process that brings later generations of Hispanics in contact with whites.   Though we also face prejudice and discrimination the intermarriage rates with whites indicate a degree of acceptance that exists among whites.  This, however, should not blind us to those who consider the growing number of Hispanics in the U.S. a threat to their culture and dominance.  Con Safos.