Something Old, Something New: A Portrait of Partnership Patterns Among Six Asian Groups in the United States

Daeshin Hayden Ju , Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY)
Karen Okigbo, Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY)
Sejung Sage Yim, Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY)

Changes in partnership patterns among Asian Americans reflect their level of cultural and socioeconomic assimilation. Although Asian Americans are an extremely diverse group, relatively little research has explored their subgroup variations in partnership patterns. Using the 2012-2016 American Community Survey, this study examines ethnic and generational differences in marriage and cohabitation patterns among six major Asian groups. We find significant ethnic variations in declining marriage rates over generations, particularly among Asian American women. Indian and Vietnamese exhibit the largest generational decline in marriage, while Japanese and Koreans show the smallest. We also find ethnic differences in the relative importance of the postponement of partnership formations and the rise in cohabitation in explaining the generational decline in marriage. Our findings suggest that not all Asian Americans assimilate at the same pace, and thus should be operationalized as a disaggregate unit.

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 Presented in Session 21. Public Policy, Normative Values, and Cohabitation