Explaining Why More Asians Are Marrying Within Their Race

Interracial marriage is at an all-time high. And while Asian Americans are still the most likely Americans to marry outside of their race, there’s been a steady increase in the number of Asians marrying other Asians.

A rise in immigration from Asian countries has widened the Asian American dating pool, but The New York Times also reported that there is “a resurgence of interest in language and ancestral traditions among some newlyweds.”

But Wall Street Journal columnist Jeff Yang points out that many Asians are still marrying across ethnicity and nationality. A University of Massachusetts–Amherst sociology professor who has studied marriage trends found that the number of Asians marrying across ethnicity has risen by 8 percent since 2006.

Both [Matthew] Cha and [Perry] Manadee essentially found themselves beginning to date other Asians when the option became more practical. (From personal experience, I can say that dating the daughters of your parents’ close friends is not practical.) This coincided with travel to Asia, or attending top universities — where there’s a disproportionately high concentration of Asian Americans — or moving to major cities on the East or West Coast, where Asian Americans cluster. And given that the overall Asian American population grew by approximately 46% from 2000 to 2010, the fastest of all racial and ethnic groups, this also explains much, but not all of the downtick in Asian interracial marriage: The more Asian fish there are in the Sea of Love, the more likely it is that you’ll net one — though not necessarily one from exactly the same coral reef.

And given the spike in Asian interethnic marriage, that’s apparently increasingly okay. Far from obsessing over common language or tradition, most of my other interviewees mentioned the same thing [Mina] Lim did: The general shared experiences and expectations they had with their Asian partners led to a comfort zone in which aspects of life other than race and ethnicity could come to the fore.

Read more at: blogs.wsj.com