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Daeshin Hayden Ju, Karen Okigbo, Sejung Sage Yim, and Jessica Halliday Hardie – Ethnic and generational differences in partnership patterns among Asians in the United States

Daeshin Hayden Ju, Karen Okigbo, Sejung Sage Yim, and Jessica Halliday Hardie (Faculty) 

Co-published an article titled “Ethnic and generational differences in partnership patterns among Asians in the United States” in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (online: June 2020)

Despite extensive research on the changes in partnership formation patterns in the United States over the past few decades, we know relatively little about how Asians are approaching marriage and cohabitation in early adulthood. Using the 2014–2018 American Community Survey, we examine whether Asians are delaying marriage and whether their postponement of marriage is offset by a rise in cohabitation. When doing so, we pay close attention to variations by ethnicity and immigrant generational status. We find that there is a substantial generational decline in marriage among Asians, accompanied by a relatively small increase in cohabitation. Thus, it is likely that 1.5-generation and U.S.-born Asians are waiting longer to enter coresidential partnerships than Asians who immigrated to the U.S. after age 12 and U.S.-born whites. Also, there are ethnic variations: cohabitation is rare among Indians whereas it is more common for Japanese and Filipino/as. The distinct patterns of 1.5-generation and U.S.-born Asians suggest that they are selectively acculturating. Overall, our findings demonstrate that Asians should not be treated as a monolithic group when studying their demographic and social patterns.