Interracial Marriage and Self-Reported Health of Whites and Blacks in the United States

Original Research

DOI: 10.1007/s11113-017-9438-0

Cite this article as:
Yu, YL. & Zhang, Z. Popul Res Policy Rev (2017). doi:10.1007/s11113-017-9438-0


This study examines the self-reported health of 180,291 married non-Hispanic blacks and whites in interracial versus endogamous marriages. Data are from the National Health Interview Survey pooled over the period 1997–2013. The results from ordinal logistic regressions show that non-Hispanic whites intermarried with non-Hispanic blacks, non-Hispanic whites intermarried with non-Hispanic other races, and non-Hispanic white women with Hispanic husbands report significantly poorer health than their endogamous counterparts. Furthermore, non-Hispanic whites with non-Hispanic black spouses also fare worse than their interracially married peers with Hispanic spouses. In contrast, the self-reported health of married non-Hispanic blacks shows no significant difference between the interracially and the endogamously married. Our findings highlight the theoretical significance of spousal characteristics and couple-level contexts in the household production of health.


Interracial marriage Self-reported health Spousal race Racial pairing 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging CenterColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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