Racial Intermarriage in the Americas

Racial Intermarriage in the Americas

Sociological Science
Volume 6, (2019-04-23)
pages 293-320
DOI: 10.15195/v6.a12

Edward Telles, Professor of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara

Albert Esteve, Director and Adjunct Professor (Department of Geography)
Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Sociological Science

We compare intermarriage in Brazil, Cuba, and the United States among the black, white, and mixed-race population using log-linear models with data from newly available anonymized and harmonized individual census microdata for the 2000 round of censuses. We find that black–white intermarriage is 105 times as likely in Brazil and 28 times as likely in Cuba compared to the United States; that Brazilian mulatos are four times as likely to marry whites than blacks, but Cuban mulatos are equally likely to marry whites and blacks; and negative educational gradients for black–white intermarriage for Cuba and Brazil but nonexistent or positive gradients in the United States. We propose a theory of intergenerational mixture and intermarriage and discuss implications for the role of preferences versus structure, universalism and education, and mulato escape-hatch theory.

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