Hispanic Intermarriage, Identification, and U.S. Latino Population Change


  • * Direct correspondence to Sharon M. Lee, Department of Sociology, Portland State University, PO Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751 〈lees@pdx.edu〉. Upon request, the authors will provide data and information to researchers who wish to replicate the study. The authors thank anonymous reviewers for comments on earlier versions of the article. This research was first presented at the 2005 Population Association of America's meetings in Philadelphia.


Objective. This article examines the neglected role of Hispanic intermarriage and identification on Hispanic population change and Hispanic ethnicity.

Methods. A trend analysis of Census data produced rates of Hispanic intermarriage and identification as Hispanic by children of intermarried Hispanics. These rates are applied to a projection model of Hispanic population change to 2025.

Results. Hispanic intermarriage has been fairly stable and high, at about 14 percent. Almost two-thirds of children of intermarried Hispanics are identified as Hispanic. The Hispanic population in 2025 is larger by almost 1 million when Hispanic intermarriage and identification rates are included in population projections.

Conclusions. Failure to consider Hispanic intermarriage and identification may lead to erroneous conclusions about components of Hispanic population growth. Intermarriage and the propensity of “part-Hispanics” to identify as Hispanic will be significant contributors to future Hispanic population growth, with implications for the meaning of Hispanic ethnicity and ethnic-based public policies.