Intermarriage: Does it affect a couple’s earnings? by Pen Waggener courtesy Wikimedia Commons.Are Americans who “marry out” similar to or different from those who “marry in”? Marrying out means a husband and wife are different races or ethnicities. Marrying in means spouses are the same race or ethnicity. Marrying out or intermarriage is on the rise in America, as we discussed Monday.

At first glance, different-race couples and same-race couples appear quite similar, according to the Pew Research Center. For example, among recent newlyweds, the two types of couples have similar combined annual earnings (a median of roughly $55,500 per couple), similar average age of wife (about 31.5 years), and similar age differences between spouses (husbands are about 2.5 year older than wives).

But a closer look shows that there are some real differences. Making money is one of them. White/Asian couples enjoy the highest level of earnings: a median combined income of about $71,000 per year. Next are Asian/Asian couples ($62,000 per year), followed by White/White couples ($60,000 per year). Those who earn the least are Black/Black couples ($47,700 per year) and Hispanic/Hispanic couples ($35,578).

We see similar differences when we look at educational levels. About 53% of Asian/Asian couples have college-educated husbands and wives, with White/Asian next (41.2% of couples). The smallest percentages of couples with college-educated husbands and wives are Black/Black couples (10.2%) and Hispanic/Hispanic couples (5.4%).

Are you surprised by these differences in earnings and education?

Do they fit your expectations and experience?

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Originally published at, an online experiment in civil dialogue.

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