This growing social acceptance of outmarrying is likely to be a profound influence on the growing numbers of interracial marriages across Asian Americans. However, these numbers appear to be slightly different for different Asian ethnicities. Kitano et al. (1998) compared the out-marriage rates across Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese American groups as well as across generations. They found that Chinese Americans had the highest intermarriages rates, and Vietnamese Americans had the lowest. Though it appears that we cannot generalize across all Asian groups, these results are actually consistent with a particular theory as to why Asian intermarriages are on the rise. This theory is usually referred to as propiniquity, the idea that the physical proximity of Asians and non-Asians via school, work, and residency can lead to increased contact between groups and thus higher “hook-ups”. Given that Chinese Americans as a group have been in the U.S. the longest out of the other Asian groups, it is likely that they would have the highest rates of intermarriage. Incidentally, Vietnamese people have arrived in the U.S. most recently out of the given Asian groups. Again, Kitano et al.’s results in this aspect are consistent with the theory of propiniquity.
Kitano et al. also found an increase in out-marriages across generations. Second and third generation Asian Americans have a much higher proportion of out-marriages than first generations. These results offer further support that high assimilation and proximity of Asians and non-Asians is likely to increase out-marriage rates. With the ever-increasing presence of Asian Americans across the U.S., this theory would suggest that out-marriages will continue to rise.