Less than 3 percent of all marriages were interracial in , and the public generally disapproved of such unions. Interracial marriage was even illegal in at least 15 U. Supreme Court ruled that laws prohibiting interracial marriages were unconstitutional in , a reported 72 percent of southern white Americans and 42 percent of northern whites said they supported an outright ban on interracial relationships. Not surprisingly, this transformation is most evident among young people. As the education and income gaps between racial and ethnic groups shrank, so did the social distance between them.
Older Americans are not as tolerant: About 55 percent of those ages 50 to 64 and just 38 percent of those 65 or older said they would not mind if a family member married someone of another race. Most people appear willing to date outside their race, but they still state preferences. A recent study of profiles submitted to the online dating website Match. But most Americans marry someone of the same race. And, as sociologist Dan Lichter points out, the biggest increase appears to be within minority groups.
White Americans still mostly marry other whites. Paul Taylor et al. Pew Research Center, Interestingly, although younger people were more accepting of intermarriage, the Pew report found little difference in actual intermarriage rates by age—newlyweds age 50 or older were about as likely to marry out as younger newlyweds. Only 11 percent of intermarriages were between black and white Americans, reflecting the persistent cultural resistance against relationships between these races.
Most common were marriages between a white and a Hispanic 41 percent , followed by marriage between a white and an Asian American 15 percent.
These marriages follow similar patterns by sex as interracial marriages of previous decades. For whites, men and women are about as likely to marry a Hispanic, but differ in their rates of marriage to blacks and Asians see Figure 2.
Unions between Asians and whites are also very sex-selective, with most marriages occurring between white men and Asian women.
Although Asian men are much less likely to marry out than Asian women, they are much more likely than whites to intermarry. Twenty percent of Asian men married a non-Asian in , compared with 40 percent of Asian women.
Likewise, black women are much less likely to intermarry than black men. More than one-fifth of black men intermarried in , while just 9 percent of black women did. There has been much speculation about why these gender preferences exist—reasons that delve into racial stereotypes and politics.
Hispanic men and women are about as likely to marry outside their ethnic group, and they tend to marry non-Hispanic whites more than other groups. The likelihood of choosing a marriage partner of another race or ethnic group is also influenced by the available pool of people of the appropriate age and with a similar educational background, because most people marry someone close in age and educational level.
This partly explains why U. Both white and black Americans have plenty of potential partners within their own groups. Unfortunately, daters are not more open-minded than they used to be.
Race and Attraction, 2009–2014
These numbers reflect different people year-to-year. One interesting thing is to compare what you see above with what those same users have told us about their racial attitudes.
Answers to match questions have been getting significantly less biased over time:. This data sparks a couple questions.Does having a racial preference when dating make us racist? Mona Chalabi - Comment is Free
While we hope to help daters look beyond appearance and connect on a deeper level, there is an evident trend showing that race is a factor for many individuals, and in a consistent way. This might say more about the cultural biases passed down in our society than individuals within it..
Same race dating
All this data is from a dating site. What does that have to do with my life?
While this data is specific to daters, it is in line with trends within our society as a whole.