1 in 6 newlywed spouses are of different race or ethnicity

In the 50 years since the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case legalized interracial marriage in America the percentage of newlyweds marrying outside their ethnicity has shot up from 3 per cent to 17 per cent

In the 50 years since the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case legalized interracial marriage in America the percentage of newlyweds marrying outside their ethnicity has shot up from 3 per cent to 17 per cent

In 2015, an estimated 1 in 6 newlywed couples, or 17%, included people of different races and ethnicities, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Pew's Intermarriage in the USA 50 Years After Loving v. Virginia shows one in ten married people (not just newlyweds) in 2015 also had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity. The report defines "newlyweds" as people married within the previous year. Since 1980, the number of blacks who chose to marry someone of a different race or ethnicity rose from 5 percent to 18 percent. In 2015, 36 percent of newly Wednesday Asian women had a spouse of a different race, compared with 21 percent of Asian men. Only 10 per cent of white women married outside their race or ethnicity, while only 12 per cent of black women were involved in intermarriage - half the rate of black men. But the rate of intermarriage has stopped growing among those groups; in 1980, for example, 33% of newlywed Asians were marrying non-Asians.

Some 13% of adults in the South say that more interracial marriage is a bad thing for society, and 11% of those living in the Midwest, where Youngstown is located, say the same.

But that same math does not seem to apply to Hispanics. That suggests the importance of the diversity of the marriage market, but at the other end of the spectrum, Livingston says, "the story is not as clear". "It can't just be about the availability of potential spouses who are Hispanic".

In a separate study, researchers from Vanderbilt University looked at 1,203 diverse dating profiles on the US version of Match.com, to find out more about race preferences. Hispanics and Asians, on the other hand, make up 26 percent of newlyweds in metro areas and only 10 percent in non-metro areas-and they're much more likely than white people to marry outside their ethnic groups. Black and Latino men were most likely among men.

In yet another sign that marriage is a very different institution among the wealthy and the less well off, education changes how likely it is that newlyweds are intermarried. It found white Americans were the least likely to marry someone of another race, with white women slightly less likely than men, and that Asian women were the most likely to marry someone of another race.

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While the intermarriage numbers represent a considerable change, they are dwarfed by the adjustment in attitudes towards it.

"Parents have less influence over who their adult children marry now than they did 50 years ago", Rosenfeld said. Now, that figure is 14 percent. Disapproval dropped among all other races as well.

"Part of it is about numbers", says Pew senior researcher Gretchen Livingston, a co-author of the report."The pool of potential spouses in urban areas in the USA tends to be a bit more diverse in terms of race and ethnicity than the pool in rural areas, so that fact in and of itself can increase the likelihood of intermarriage".

A 2015 Pew survey found that mixed-race people tend not to "exist in a world where they are equally part of both races", said Juliana Horowitz, associate director of social trends research for Pew.

Differences in racial composition of metropolitan and non-metropolitan populations may also account for some of the gap: 83 percent of newlyweds in non-metro areas are white, compared to 62 percent in metro areas. "I would love to have attitudinal breaks on race and gender to see if that would explain some of what's going on", she says.

Out of the 126 metro areas with more than 200 newlyweds per year between 2011 and 2015, the Birmingham-Hoover and Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, S.C., metro areas tied for the fifth-lowest rate of interracial marriage.

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