On June 12, 2017, it will have been 50 years since the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Americans should in fact be allowed to marry a partner of whatever race they want. Since then, many American couples have availed themselves of that right, although white people remain much less likely to marry another race than people of other races, according to a new report from Pew Research.
Five times as many people who married in 2015 chose partners from a different race or ethnicity as those who married in 1967. That’s 17% of all newlyweds — or one in six — that year. The largest increase was among African Americans; since 1980, the number of black spouses who intermarried has increased from 5% to 18%. And the number of whites who intermarried increased from 4% to 11% in the same period. (Pew defines “intermarriage” as between two different races as well as between a Hispanic and a non-Hispanic, even if they are of the same race.)
The newlyweds most likely to be intermarried are Asian or Hispanic. Almost 30% of Asians who married in 2015 wed someone of another race, and about 27% of Hispanics married a non-Hispanic, says Pew. But the rate of intermarriage has stopped growing among those groups; in 1980, for example, 33% of newlywed Asians were marrying non-Asians. The most common interracial match by far — 42% of all intermarriages— is that between a Hispanic person and a white person.
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