According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, interracial marriages are at an all-time high.
Researchers say the increase–to 4.8 million people, or 1 in 12 couples–can be traced to the constant influx of Asian and Hispanic immigrants, who have “substantially increased” the dating pool.
The study found that 8.4 percent of all marriages are now between interracial couples, up from 3.2 percent in 1980. Despite racism continuing to plague the nation, the increase in cross-racial coupling is boding well for race relations.
Daniel Lichter, a sociology professor at Cornell University, told the Associated Press, “The rise in interracial marriage indicates that race relations have improved over the past quarter century. Mixed-race children have blurred America’s color line. They often interact with others on either side of the racial divide and frequently serve as brokers between friends and family members of different racial backgrounds,” he said. “But America still has a long way to go.”
Some interesting findings from the study:
- Hispanics and Asians are the most likely to marry someone from outside their race/ethnic group
- The biggest increase in interracial marriages are among blacks
- Interracial marriages were more popular in the West followed by the South, Northeast and Midwest.
- In 2010 more than 15% of all new marriages were between couples of different races
- Biracial children are a small, but growing segment of the population (8 percent or 9 million).
- More than 25% of Hispanics and Asians, 17.1% of blacks, and 9.4% of whites had a spouse of a different race.
- Black men were more than twice as likely as black women to marry someone outside their race — 24% to 9 %.
- Asian women were twice as likely as Asian men to marry outside their race — 36% to 17%
What do you think of the numbers? Read more at the Associated Press.