Leadership Investigate

A Demographic Base For Ethnic Survival? Blending Across Four Generations Of German-Americans

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Executive Summary

New data from the IPUMS (Integrated Public Use Microdata Series) project permit an exploration of the demographic basis for ethnic survival across successive generations. The author first explores the degree of ethnic blending among the grandchildren of early-to mid-19th-century German immigrants; second, these descendants' own marital choices; and third, the likely composition of the fourth generation to which they would give birth. The European immigrants generally married their own, but their children and grandchildren often married out. The ethnic blending that followed these marriages is one of the crucial distinguishing features of American society.

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