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Trends in assortative mating, by ethnicity in Ghana

Pearl Kyei, University of Pennsylvania
Hyunjoon Park, University of Pennsylvania
Jeroen Smits, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen

Patterns of assortative mating can be informative because they reflect the strength of social boundaries across groups. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of ethnic homogamy in Ghana using data from the 2000 census and the Ghana Demographic and Health Surveys. 90% of couples are ethnically homogamous and the likelihood of being in an interethnic union varies by education, ethnicity, gender and region. While ethnically homogamous couples are equally as likely to have educational homogamy, partners in interethnic couples have greater educational attainment. An interesting finding is that even within interethnic unions there are distinct patterns: the majority of interethnic couples share similar ethnic combinations and there is little intermarriage between certain ethnic groups.

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Presented in Session 51: Cohabitation,marriage and remmarriage patterns