U s attitudes toward interracial dating are liberalizing
In 1980, less than 4% of all married Black people under the age of 35 were not married to other black people. But Black people only made up between six to seven percent of the total under 35 married population during this period.So while this is a substantial increase, it accounts for less than 1% of the overall increase in interracial marriages.There are also fewer White people – the group that has always been least likely to intermarry.Once these demographic changes are accounted for, a large portion of the increase in intermarriage rates vanishes.The were between Blacks and Whites, nearly twenty times higher than in 1950.And more than 15% were “intermarriages” – marriages between people who don’t identify as the same racial or ethnic group, up from 6.7% in 1980.
By 2014, however, Whites were only four times more likely than random to marry another White person.Americans on whether they believed it was acceptable for Blacks and Whites to date each other.At that time, less than 50% of Americans thought interracial dating was acceptable. Our examination of the data suggests that the increasing rate of intermarriage may be driven by demographic changes more than changing attitudes.Jeter, a Black and Native American woman, and Loving, a White man, fell in love and decided to get married.
They lived in Virginia, one of the states that still banned “miscegenation” – the derogatory term used to describe interracial coupling – so they needed to travel to the District of Columbia to be officially recognized as a couple.
This next chart displays intermarriage rates across time for the America’s four major racial/ethnic groups for the same period.