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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.
Today, there are proportionately more Asians, Hispanics and people of other racial/ethnic backgrounds in the United States than ever.
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.
The were between Blacks and Whites, nearly twenty times higher than in 1950.
Yet the rates of intermarriage among different racial/ethnic groups show very different trends.
This next chart displays intermarriage rates across time for the America’s four major racial/ethnic groups for the same period.
The most dramatic change over the last several decades is the number of Blacks intermarrying.
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.