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Women in the California Gold Rush, which began in Northern California in 1848, initially included Spanish descendants, or Californios, who already lived in California, Native American women, and rapidly arriving immigrant women from all over the world.At first, the numbers of immigrant women were scarce, but they contributed to their community nonetheless.Kim Parker, associate director of the Social & Demographic Trends project, provided valuable comments and suggestions.Research Assistants Eileen Patten and Seth Motel did the number checking, and Marcia Kramer copy-edited the report.Newlywed couples in 2008-2010 combines three years’ data for newlyweds.Even though labeled as “newlyweds,” 42% of newly married couples in 2008-2010 have been married before (either husband or wife or both).The number of women in California changed very quickly as the rich gold strikes and lack of women created strong pressures in the new Gold Rush communities to restore sex balance.As travel arrangements improved and were made easier and more predictable the number of women coming to California rapidly increased.
As the gold mining and associated businesses prospered, many men decided to make California their new home and many husbands or potential husbands sent money back to their original homes for their women and families to join them.
For more information about data sources and methodology, see Appendix 1.
Key findings: In this report, the terms “intermarriage” and “marrying out” refer to marriages between a Hispanic and a non-Hispanic (interethnic) or marriages between non-Hispanic spouses who come from the following different racial groups (interracial): white, black, Asian, American Indian, mixed race or some other race.
By Wendy Wang This report analyzes the demographic and economic characteristics of newlyweds who marry spouses of a different race or ethnicity, and compares the traits of those who “marry out” with those who “marry in.” The newlywed pairs are grouped by the race and ethnicity of the husband and wife, and are compared in terms of earnings, education, age of spouse, region of residence and other characteristics.
This report is primarily based on the Pew Research Center’s analysis of data from the U. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) in 2008-2010 and on findings from three of the Center’s own nationwide telephone surveys that explore public attitudes toward intermarriage.