Volume 48 - Article 18 | Pages 483–512

Differences in occupational homogamy by race, ethnicity, and national origin: A social mobility strategy for Asian Americans

By Kate Choi, Yue Qian

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter


Date received:07 Sep 2022
Date published:06 Apr 2023
Word count:7813
Keywords:assortative mating, immigrants, integration, occupation, racial/ethnic differences
Additional files:48-18 Online_Appendix (pdf file, 65 kB)


Background: Rising median age at marriage and increasing lifestyle differentials across occupations suggest that occupations increasingly offer important signals of the economic and cultural resources of potential spouses. Scant attention has been paid to occupational assortative mating in recent years. Rarer are studies about racial, ethnic, and nationality differences in occupational homogamy rates.

Objective: We document variations in occupational homogamy rates by race, ethnicity, and national origin and identify factors contributing to group differences in occupational homogamy rates.

Methods: Using data from the 2006 and 2008–2019 American Community Survey, we compared occupational homogamy rates by race, ethnicity, and nationality. We also used logistic regression models to identify the correlates of occupational homogamy and used Fairlie decomposition models to assess the extent to which individual traits, occupational traits, and place of residence contribute to group differences in occupational homogamy.

Results: Asian American men have higher occupational homogamy rates than non-Asian men. Differences in occupational homogamy rates among Asian national origin groups are greater than group differences among non-Asian men. Among Asian men, Indians have the highest occupational homogamy rates and Koreans have the lowest. Differences in educational attainment and representation in STEM occupations explain a significant portion of group differences in occupational homogamy rates.

Contribution: We reveal that, in addition to educational and occupational attainment, marital sorting on occupation may represent a dimension of “strategic adaptation” in Asian Americans’ social mobility.

Author's Affiliation

Kate Choi - University of Western Ontario, Canada [Email]
Yue Qian - University of British Columbia, Canada [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Stability and outcome of interracial cohabitation before and after transitions to marriage
Volume 46 - Article 33

» The health of biracial children in two-parent families in the United States
Volume 41 - Article 8

» Educational and age assortative mating in China: The importance of marriage order
Volume 41 - Article 3

» Gender differences in educational adaptation of immigrant-origin youth in the United States
Volume 38 - Article 39

» Understanding patterns of contraceptive use among never married Mexican American women
Volume 34 - Article 40

» The gender divide in urban China: Singlehood and assortative mating by age and education
Volume 31 - Article 45

» Fertility in the context of Mexican migration to the United States: A case for incorporating the pre-migration fertility of immigrants
Volume 30 - Article 24

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» Child poverty across immigrant generations in the United States, 1993–2016: Evidence using the official and supplemental poverty measures
Volume 39 - Article 40    | Keywords: integration, racial/ethnic differences

» The formation of ethnically mixed partnerships in Estonia: A stalling trend from a two-sided perspective
Volume 38 - Article 38    | Keywords: immigrants, integration

» Multiple (il)legal pathways: The diversity of immigrants' legal trajectories in Belgium
Volume 47 - Article 10    | Keywords: integration

» Going "beyond the mean" in analysing immigrant health disparities
Volume 47 - Article 7    | Keywords: immigrants

» The ethnic wage penalty in Western European regions: Is the European integration model confirmed when differences within countries are considered?
Volume 46 - Article 23    | Keywords: integration






Similar Articles



Jump to Article

Volume Page
Volume Article ID