Interracial Marriages Break Records

marrying outRacial and ethnic intermarriage are on the increase in America and growing in acceptance. And a new study has the details.

The study released today by the Pew Research Center is called The Rise of Intermarriage: Profiles, Rates Vary by Race and Gender. And the results — based on polls taken between 2008 and 2010 — are eye opening.

And public acceptance of intermarriage is at an all-time high. Forty-three percent of Americans think it is good for society, while 11 percent say it is a bad thing and 44 percent say that these marriages make no difference. In addition, over one-third of people say that a relative is married to someone of a different race, and nearly two-thirds say it would be fine if a family decided to marry someone of a different race or ethnicity.

In 1986, the nation was far more divided, with nearly equal percentages of Americans believing that mixed marriages were unacceptable for anyone (28 percent), for others but not themselves (37 percent) and acceptable for everyone (33 percent).

Members of minority groups, liberals, young people, those with a college education, and residents of the West and Northeast generally have a more positive attitude towards intermarriage.

On one level, so-called “mixed marriages” are just like marriages between spouses of the same group. For example, the combined earnings of couples who “married out” ($56,711) are a little higher, but not that different from the earnings of those who “married in” ($55,000). Further, mixed and non-mixed couples each have about a 21 percent chance of being college educated, and the age difference between partners is about the same.

At the same time, there are big differences worth noting. Mixed couples are less likely than their non-mixed counterparts to be both native born. While almost seven out of ten mixed couples (68.5 percent) are both native-born U.S. citizens, 81 percent of non-mixed couples who fall in the same category.

Looking at geographical differences, interracial couples are more likely to reside in the Western region of the U.S., and less likely to live in the Midwest, which could speak to the varying levels of diversity in these parts of the country.

Moreover, not all intermarriages are the same, which suggests that self-selection is at play.

When it comes to gender, there are large differences in intermarriage. About 24 percent of black male newlyweds married outside their race in 2010, compared with only 9 percent of black female newlyweds. In contrast, about 36 percent of Asian female newlyweds married outside their race, compared with just 17 percent of Asian male newlyweds. Meanwhile, the intermarriage rates among whites and Hispanics do not differ by gender.

Among mixed married couples, money also plays a role. White/Asian couples have the highest combined earnings (nearly $71,000), as opposed to $58,000 for white/Hispanic couples, and $53,000 for white/black couples. Interestingly, white/Asian couples earn more than all-white or all-Asian couples.

david loveAlso in the Pew study, white male newlyweds who married Asian, Hispanic or black spouses had higher combined earnings than white male newlyweds with a white spouse. As for white female newlyweds, those with a Hispanic or black husband had somewhat lower combined earnings than those who “married in,” while those who married an Asian husband had considerably higher combined earnings.

Meanwhile, white couples earn more than white/Hispanic couples, who in turn make more than Hispanic couples. And the earnings of white/black couples fall between those of white couples and black couples.

There are differences in education among interracial couples as well. White newlyweds who married Asians are better educated (over half have a college degree) than whites who married whites, blacks or Hispanics (about a third). Further, about 60 percent of Asians who marry whites are college educated, while newlywed blacks and Hispanics with a white partner are more educated than those who married within their group.

The Pew study shows that much has changed with intermarriage over the years, but race, ethnicity and gender still matter. This report comes 45 years after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, which struck down the laws in 16 states that still banned interracial marriages. And this week, HBO aired a documentary, The Loving Story, chronicling the life of the Lovings, the Virginia interracial couple who made civil rights history.

David A. Love
The Grio

Republished with the author’s permission from The Grio.

Follow David A. Love on Twitter at @davidalove

 

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Comments

  1. jason williams says

    Despite a vast literature from geneticists, anthropologists,
    and sociologists replete with refutations of the idea of different races,
    people in the United States
    continue to cling to the notion that there are different races. How is this to
    be explained? (1) Reading is an
    unpopular pastime. (2) People in the United
    States are massively indoctrinated with the
    idea that races are a natural phenomenon and/or a “social reality.”
    This belief derives from centuries of official racial classification and bribes
    to maintain racial identities, in the form of, for example, affirmative
    action.  (3) Thousands of educators,
    somehow immune to logical reasoning, continue to write books and teach courses
    on something called race relations and race and ethnic relations. They, too, do
    not read the literature that refutes the arguments for racial classification.
    People marry other people. Calling it “marrying out” is scandalously
    inaccurate. Where is the evidence that the couples were influenced by
    “race” in their decision to marry? Why, then, is the marriage
    “marrying out?” Out of what are they marrying? Why are there not
    similarly-titled articles when “rich” marries “poor?”  “Races” are products of racial
    classification, not nature or society. .Scholars still quarrel over the discovery,
    names, and numbers of races in the world, and they cannot agree on the criteria
    of racial demarcation–skin color, place of birth, culture, genes, ancestry,
    blood type, and self-reportage.  This
    nation needs an astronomic, qualitative educational overhaul to create a
    commitment to logical reasoning and semantic clarity.

  2. Sharon Toji says

    Our family is a good example. My first husband and I, both white, adopted four children of a black American serviceman married to a German. He was actually someone whose father had a white father, and I believe his grandmother had a native American parent — so he was a pretty typical “African American,” a mixture himself. Of the two who married of my children, one married a white person of Portuguese decent, so everything thinks the children are Latinos because of their name, but my son-in-laws family are Caucasian Latinos, or actually Hispanics. The other was married to a Mexican American woman. 

    My second husband is Japanese American and I am white. One of his brothers was also married to a white woman, but they had no children, and we had no children together. Several of his nephews married women from other groups – white or Latino or Filipino. Some also married other Asians but not Japanese. Two of his children — my step-children,  married white people — one is Jewish, just to compound things. So now there are three more “mixed” Japanese/white girls in the family. One of my grandchildren’s mother is also part native American, (the father is one of my mixed sons). I call us the All American family.

  3. jason williams says

    Despite a vast literature from geneticists, anthropologists, and sociologists replete with refutations of the idea of different races, people in the United States continue to cling to the notion that there are different races. How is this to be explained? (1) Reading is an unpopular pastime. (2) People in the United States are massively indoctrinated with the idea that races are a natural phenomenon and/or a “social reality.” This belief derives from centuries of official racial classification and bribes to maintain racial identities, in the form of, for example, affirmative action. (3) Thousands of educators, somehow immune to logical reasoning, continue to write books and teach courses on something called race relations and race and ethnic relations. They, too, do not read the literature that refutes the arguments for racial classification. People marry other people. Calling it “marrying out” is scandalously inaccurate. Where is the evidence that the couples were influenced by “race” in their decision to marry? Why, then, is the marriage “marrying out?” Out of what are they marrying? Why are there not similarly-titled articles when “rich” marries “poor?” “Races” are products of racial classification, not nature or society. .Scholars still quarrel over the discovery, names, and numbers of races in the world, and they cannot agree on the criteria of racial demarcation–skin color, place of birth, culture, genes, ancestry, blood type, and self-reportage. This nation needs an astronomic, qualitative educational overhaul to create a commitment to logical reasoning and semantic clarity

  4. Tracy says

    It’s interesting to note that from the study mentioned in this article…

    “The top three states for white-black married couples are Virginia, North Carolina and Kansas”

    Not progressive and enlightened California….

  5. RyderSpearmann says

    BTW It’s more than a little telling that in the study sited in this article this simple fact:

    “The top three states for white-black married couples are Virginia, North Carolina and Kansas, all with rates of about 3 percent.”

    That’s right… not progressive and enlightened California… Virginia, North Carolina and Kansas.

  6. RyderSpearmann says

    This is a no brainer. Of course when people of different races flock to *join* American, the girls and boys are going to start doing what comes naturally.

    The sad thing is, the progressive movement has slowed this dramatically… by stereotyping people as being members of ethnic groups *first* and being common Americans *second*, they have successfully created social and cultural enclaves that have proven difficult do break through. Where the progressive movement has been least able to create these cultural enclaves, interracial marriage has been booming for a very long time. From the promotion of ethnic symbols in dress, language, even going to the extreme of inventing separate holidays like Kwanzaa (with the express purpose to “give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves”)

    By striving to be sure that people from distant lands retain separate and strong cultural identities and to shun the adoption of America as their heart and soul, the coming together of people under unified cultural identity has been stifled. Asian immigrants have been the least likely to adopt progressive ideas of cultural separatism… and have pushed their children hard into the American cultural mainstream, and as a result, interracial marriage between Asians and whites have been very high for a long time.

    What irony to realize that we’d be far further along, if not for progressive separatism.

    (BTW, my son is half Vietnamese)

  7. -Nate says

    Step by step , America is moving out of the dark ages .

    It was a big thing when I did this in 1976 , no big deal to – day , this is how it should be .

    My bi – racial son , doesn’t care one way or ‘tother .

    -Nate

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