Pew Research Center (February 20, 2012)
Washington, DC – Marriage across racial and ethnic lines continues to be on the rise in the United States, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center’s Pew Social & Demographic Trends project. The share of new marriages between spouses of a different race or ethnicity increased to 15.1% in 2010, and the share of all current marriages that are either interracial or interethnic has reached an all-time high of 8.4%.
According to the report, intermarriage rates are highest among Hispanics and Asians. In 2010, more than a quarter (26%) of Hispanic newlyweds, and 28% of Asian newlyweds, married someone of a different race or ethnicity, or “married out.” By contrast, about one-in-six (17%) newlywed black non-Hispanics married non-blacks, and less than one-in-ten white non-Hispanics (9%) married someone who is not white, the lowest among all groups. Whites are by far the largest racial group in the United States, meaning that marriages between whites and minority groups are the most common types of intermarriage.
Among the report’s findings:
* Of the 275,500 new interracial or interethnic marriages in 2010, 43% are white/Hispanic couples, the most common type of intermarriage couple.
* Native-born Hispanic newlyweds are more than twice as likely as foreign-born Hispanic newlyweds to marry out—-36% versus 14%.
* About one-in-five (19%) of all newlyweds in New Mexico between 2008 and 2010 were white/Hispanic couples, a share higher than any other state. States with the next highest shares of newlywed white/Hispanic couples were Arizona (12%) and Nevada (11%).
* Between 2008 and 2010, the share of college-educated couples (both husband and wife) was 19% among intermarried white/Hispanic couples, but just 5% among Hispanic couples.
* Just as intermarriage has become more common, public attitudes have become more accepting. Nearly half (48%) of Hispanics, and 43% of Americans overall, say that more people of different races marrying each other has been a change for the better in our society, while only about one-in-ten of both groups think it is a change for the worse.
The report, “The Rise of Intermarriage: Rates, Characteristics Vary by Race and Gender,” authored by Wendy Wang, Research Associate, Pew Social & Demographic Trends, is available at the Pew Social & Demographic Trend’s website, www.pewsocialtrends.org.
The Pew Hispanic Center and Pew Social & Demographic Trends are projects of the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan, non-advocacy research organization based in Washington, D.C. funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.