Among U.S. Cohabiters, 18% Have a Partner of a Different Race or Ethnicity

Gretchen Livingston, Pew Research Center, June 8, 2017

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Of the major racial and ethnic groups, white adults who are in a cohabiting relationship are the least likely to be living with a partner of a different race or ethnicity (12%). This share rises to 20% among black cohabiters and 24% among Hispanic cohabiters. These rates are very similar to intermarriage rates among white (11%), black (18%) and Hispanic (27%) newlyweds.

The story is different for Asian adults who cohabit. Almost half (46%) are living with a partner of a different race or ethnicity. This is far higher than the share of Asian newlyweds who are intermarried (29%). One factor that might partially explain this difference is that a larger share of Asian cohabiters (39%) than Asian newlyweds (25%) were born in the U.S., and U.S.-born Asians are more likely than those who are foreign born to have a spouse or partner of a different race or ethnicity. (Among Asian immigrants who cohabit, 38% have partners of a different race or ethnicity compared with 59% of Asian cohabiters who are U.S. born.)

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