Study: Black-White Marriages on the Rise

Study: Black-White Marriages on the Rise

A new study published in the "Journal of Marriage and Family" finds that the interracial marriages have been on the rise since the 1980s.

Published September 22, 2011

Last week we reported that 86% of Americans approve of Black-white unions and a new report is showing that Black-white marriages are on the rise.


The study, published in the October 2011 edition of the Journal of Marriage and Family, found that in 2008, 10.7 percent of Blacks who married in the past year married white, compared with three percent in 1980.


Although the percentage of Blacks marrying whites increased, the amount of Black-white unions were still relatively low in comparison to other races.


Almost 34 percent of Asians and 28 percent of Hispanics were recently wed to whites in 2008.


“The number of marriages between whites and African-Americans is undeniably increasing rapidly, but it is still a small number,” said Zhenchao Qian, lead author of the study and professor of sociology at Ohio State University. “Our results point to better race relations in 2008 than 1980, but we still have a way to go. The racial boundary is blurred, but it is still there.”


The numbers were gathered from new census data that identifies people who have recently married, unlike past years where research only studied all married couples, including some who had been married over 40 years.


The study also found that Blacks who have completed higher levels of education are more likely to marry whites because they have a greater chance of interacting with them in school, neighborhoods where they live and their workplaces.


Additionally, based on the research, Black men are more likely to marry white women than Black women are to marry white men.


In 1980, only five percent of Black men married a white woman, compared to 14 percent in 2008.


According to Qian, understanding interracial marriage is complex because it involves not only who is available to marry, but the individuals’ choices about who they would be willing to marry.


What’s important to you when choosing a mate?


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(Photo: Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times/Landov)

Written by Danielle Wright


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