When It Comes to Marriage, It Doesn’t Matter Whether You’re Black or White

Intermarriage is on the rise, a report released Thursday shows.   

In 2015, one in six newlyweds had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity – that’s more than five times the number of intermarried couples in 1967, according to new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Pew’s Intermarriage in the U.S. 50 Years After Loving v. Virginia shows one in ten married people (not just newlyweds) in 2015 also had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity.

The most common intermarriage pair among newlyweds is Hispanic and white. The second most prevalent pair is white and Asian.

Other data pointed out stark gender differences for blacks and Asians: Black men are twice as likely as black women to intermarry. Asians are the opposite — Asian women are more likely to intermarry than Asian men.

On the whole, more educated individuals are more likely to intermarry.

Michael Rosenfeld, professor in Stanford University’s Department of Sociology, said he expects intermarriage numbers to continue to rise partly because people are living independently away from Mom and Dad, and marrying later in life.

“Parents have less influence over who their adult children marry now than they did 50 years ago,” Rosenfeld said. “That means that the barriers to racial intermarriage have come down.”

Gretchen Livingston, senior researcher, said Pew data did point to changing attitudes about race and ethnicity.

“We did have attitudinal data and what we see is even in 2000 and 1990, huge changes in attitudes about marring across race and ethnic lines.”

While Rosenfeld said the trend is an indication that “in family life, racial differences matter less than they used to,” an increase in intermarriage doesn’t mean it will become the norm.

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Source: USA Today |