This paper asks: do black immigrants have higher rates of white partnership than African Americans?
Some say white Americans feel more comfortable among black immigrants than among African Americans. Anglo‐Caribbean accents, in particular, have been described as appealing. Research finds that some black immigrant groups do have higher rates of union with whites, but that advantage disappears when confounding factors are controlled. Yet, marriage markets have different characteristics. Using metropolitan areas as proxies for marriage markets, this study explores whether taking metropolitan conditions into account improves the odds that black immigrants and whites marry or cohabit.
The analysis pools data from the 2008–2016 American Community Surveys. Black immigrants are divided into Anglophone Afro‐Caribbeans, Haitians, sub‐Saharan Africans, and a residual group of “Other Blacks.” Two generations are created: those arriving before the age of 13 and those arriving later. The critical technique is multi‐level logistic regression.
The findings replicate previous multivariate analyses in showing that black immigrants do not have higher rates of white partnership than African Americans. Still, rates are higher for the 1.5 than the 1.0 generation and higher among males than females. Among black ethnic groups, unions with whites are least common among Haitians and most common among sub‐Saharan Africans.
The findings weaken the hope that the black immigrant presence will moderate the “color line” in America.