There’s a new Pew study out about the rise of bi-racial or bi-ethnic newlyweds in America. Overall, the study found that “about 15 percent of new marriages in 2010 crossed racial or ethnic lines, double the rate from three decades ago. Intermarriages comprise 8 percent of all marriages now, up from just 3 percent in 1980.” (Washington Post)
And in the Western states, “about one-in-five (22%) of all newlyweds … married someone of a different race or ethnicity between 2008 and 2010″. This compares with 14% in the South, 13% in the Northeast and 11% in the Midwest. The highest rate was in the state of Hawaii with more than four-in-ten (42%) being bi-racial.
The study, called “the Rise of Intermarriage,” found patterns that varied by gender, geography and race or ethnicity.
“In the past half century, intermarriage has evolved from being illegal, to being taboo, to being merely unusual,” said Paul Taylor, director of the Pew Research Center. “With each passing year, it becomes less unusual. The face of the country is changing, and behaviors are changing with it.”
Is more intermarriage good for society?
More than four-in-ten Americans (43%) say that more people of different races marrying each other has been a change for the better in our society, while 11% say it has been a change for the worse and 44% say it has made no difference. Minorities, younger adults, the college-educated, those who describe themselves as liberal and those who live in the Northeast or the West are more disposed than others to see intermarriage in a positive light.
Public’s acceptance of intermarriage.
More than one-third of Americans (35%) say that a member of their immediate family or a close relative is currently married to someone of a different race. Also, nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) say it “would be fine” with them if a member of their own family were to marry someone outside their own racial or ethnic group. In 1986, the public was divided about this. Nearly three-in-ten Americans (28%) said people of different races marrying each other was not acceptable for anyone, and an additional 37% said this may be acceptable for others, but not for themselves. Only one-third of the public (33%) viewed intermarriage as acceptable for everyone.