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III. Results

A. Descriptive Statistics

The first four columns of Table 1 show the racial differences

in various individual, family, and first union characteristics. When

comparing across racial groups, Asian American young adults have

higher educational achievement at Wave 4 (48.09% completed

college) and more advantaged socioeconomic profile at home than

their white, African American, and Hispanic peers. Nearly 70% of

them come from two-biological-parent families and about half of

them have mothers with at least some college education. For

nativity status, Asian Americans are heavily represented by

first-generation young adults (43.36%), a pattern not seen in other

racial groups. Young Asian Americans have the highest percentage

of never experiencing cohabitation by Wave 4 (41.30%) among all

groups. They are also more likely to stay single in young adulthood

(55.81%) than their white and Hispanic counterparts (45.57% and

51.04%). The percentage of first cohabitation formed by Asian

Americans that end in marriage (44.73%) is only higher than

African Americans but lower than whites and Hispanics. Asian

American young adults also have the highest percentage of

inter-racial first cohabiting unions (51%) among all four races. As

for first marital union, only slightly more than half of all first

marriages (51.93%) formed by Asian American young adults are

preceded by a cohabitation, which is much lower than any of the

other three racial groups. About 44% of the first marriages formed

by Asian Americans are racially exogamous unions, which is again

much higher than the other three races. When first cohabitations

are compared with first marriages, the percentage of Asian

Americans who had a white cohabiting partner (27%) is roughly

the same as the percentage of Asian Americans who married a white

partner (25%). This pattern can also be observed in the other racial