Race-mixed marriages are at an all-time high – but white Americans are the least likely to marry outside their race, a new study has shown.
The Pew Center report, titled “Intermarriage in the U.S. 50 Years After Loving v. Virginia,” said that one-in-six newlyweds are married to someone of a different race or ethnicity in America today.
The study interviewed 1,800 people about their perceptions on interracial marriage and analyzed census information over the years. It found white Americans were the least likely to marry someone of another race, with white women slightly less likely than men, and that Asian women were the most likely to marry someone of another race.
Overall, the rate of intermarriages is increasing, with only 3 percent of newlyweds in 1967 being intermarried, and 17 percent in 2015. Of all married Americans, one in 10 are married to someone of another race.
About 11 percent of white American newlyweds are married to someone of another race, according to the study, compared to 18 percent of black Americans, 27 percent of Hispanic Americans and 29 percent of Asian Americans.
White and Hispanic Americans have similar rates of intermarriage between men and women, but both black Americans and Asian Americans differ sharply by gender.
Black men are twice as likely to marry another race as black women – 24 percent to 12 percent – and the rate of intermarriage for Asian women is 36 percent, compared to Asian men at 21 percent.
Interracial marriages are slightly more common among the college educated, younger generations and in metro areas. Regions with some of the highest rates of interracial marriages include South Florida, metro areas in California and Hawaii.
More broadly, one-in-ten married people in 2015 – not just those who recently married – had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity. This translates into 11 million people who were intermarried.
The most dramatic increases in intermarriage have occurred among black newlyweds. Since 1980, the share who married someone of a different race or ethnicity has more than tripled from 5% to 18%. White newlyweds, too, have experienced a rapid increase in intermarriage, with rates rising from 4% to 11%. However, despite this increase, they remain the least likely of all major racial or ethnic groups to marry someone of a different race or ethnicity.
Asian and Hispanic newlyweds are by far the most likely to intermarry in the U.S. About three-in-ten Asian newlyweds (29%) did so in 2015, and the share was 27% among recently married Hispanics. For these groups, intermarriage is even more prevalent among the U.S. born: 39% of U.S.-born Hispanic newlyweds and almost half (46%) of U.S.-born Asian newlyweds have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity.