Interracial Marriage in the United States Is at an All-Time High

Interracial Marriage in the United States Is at an All-Time High

But African-Americans are the only group that consider it to be a bad thing.

Published May 19, 2017

June 12, 2017, will mark fifty years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the legality of Americans marrying someone of another race.

Fifty years isn't a ton of time. In fact, there are a lot of 50 years olds on Instagram and even more on Facebook. Just think about that! An article from Time magazine finds that, in 2015, five times as many people who married chose a partner of a different race or ethnicity than those who tied the knot in 1967. African-Americans currently have the highest rate of intermarriage growth. Since 1980, the number of Black spouses who intermarried increased from 5 percent to 18 percent, while the number of white spouses who intermarried increased from 4 percent to 11 percent during the same time frame. (Time specifies that, according to Pew Research, intermarriage is a marriage between people of two different races and between a Hispanic and non-Hispanic, even if they are of the same race.)

This numerical jump is dope and it makes perfect sense considering that the latest US Census makes it clear that we are fast becoming a majority minority nation. While these unions might be successful for some, we understand that negative attitudes towards marrying outside of your race certainly push the progress ten steps back. Look at how a white father reacted to his daughter's Black prom date. Imagine if he was her husband. The prejudices go both ways, unfortunately. One in five African-Americans actually believe marrying other races is bad for society, according to this new study. Get Out much? 

The report definitely presents some interesting trends amongst African-Americans when it comes to marrying other races. According to Pew, "In just seven years, the share of adults saying that the growing number of people marrying someone of a different race is good for society has risen 15 points to 39 percent." Ironically, African-Americans are the only ethnicity that may be opposed to this statement. Amongst African-Americans, one in five think intermarriage is bad for society. Nonetheless, in 2015, Black grooms (24 percent of all grooms) were twice as likely to marry someone of a different race or ethnicity than Black brides (12 percent). 

Senior researcher at Pew and author of this report, Gretchen Livingston, says whites have the lowest rates of intermarriage partly because of their neighborhoods. "If you're living in a place where 85 percent of the marriage market is white and you're white, there's a low probability that you will marry someone who is not white," she says. As shown in the map above, intermarriage takes place in areas where fewer minorities reside.

In terms of Hispanics and intermarriage, Livingston added, "if you look overtime, the share of Hispanics in this country has risen a lot, but frankly, their rate of intermarriage has not really changed. It can't just be about the availability of potential spouses who are Hispanic."

The report also shows that the more educated you are, regardless of your race, the more likely you are to marry someone of a different racial and/or ethnic background. 

The takeaway? Study hard kids and take whoever you want to the prom because, despite what you might see in terms of viral news stories, the world is changing. Just look how far we've come in 50 years. 

Written by Yakira Young

(Photo: Jeff Vespa/WireImage)


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