New Study: One-in-five marriages in the West are bi-racial

by on February 16, 2012 · 3 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Life Events, Popular

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.”

Plus, the researchers found that “most Americans tell pollsters they are untroubled at the prospect of intermarriage in their own family.”  Here are some more of the study’s findings:

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.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

OB Joe February 16, 2012 at 10:40 pm

A-w-e-s-o-m-e! Really, this is what America looks like!


wendy February 17, 2012 at 12:03 am

I feel its wonderful! Two people who love one another get married and live happily after. The American Dream. We have always felt this way as humans we do the cycle of growing up finding love and starting a family of our own. Why would it be any different if one is Asian and the other black? Or One is white and the other black so what! We all are people! Humans but most of all the two lovebirds have something most drive to find, some never do. If some one is against it well it that persons problem. Not the lovebirds problem.the lovebirds are not harming anyone! The ones who have a problem with interracial marriage can mind their own business! Shut up and leave the lovebird alone.


rick trujillo February 17, 2012 at 10:54 am

We, humanity, all walked out of Olduvai Gorge, Africa. How cool is that? We now know we are one race. There are no races, anymore. Different nationalities, yes and that’s way cool, too. We evolved into different nationalities. We still have a lot of scientific exploring and explaining to do.
Hmmm, wish this was known or taught in the last century when I went to high school. Negroe, colored, those shit words used to differentiate. I was lucky, I grew up in Oakland, I don’t ever recall saying them–those words.
It was a joy to read and follow Malcolm X …and the Black rebellion even when I faced white baiting hatred. This came after my army stint. I just said, then, listen asshole or some other profanity, I was raised in Oakland. Oakland is my home. It was true and it had real meaning, still does.
This came in handy when I deterred a trooper, in Nam, from shooting our commanding officer. I was the executive officer of the unit. This Black soldier had had enough badgering, whether racial or not. The captain had dressed him down for not saluting. He went to the arms room got a rifle and set about confronting a white officer. I got between them and started talking.. luckily I knew his name, “listen, I understand”, I said, I’m from Oakland” he responded, surrendered the gun to me, I told him not to worry. I worried, he was facing a General Court Martial, years in confinement. Instead, the power of the Black rebellion going on back home, in the States, tempered higher command along with my advice that the trooper was suffering from combat fatigue, best defense I could think of at the time, and needed help not punishment. This fellow eventually got reassigned and made it home. My black friends from Oakland, in my youth, accepted me, I never felt rejection and I didn’t even know then, I was a Chicano.
Mixed marriages? I think even that description is very questionable. It conjures up some necessity to define or explain when there is literally nothing to explain…the love smiles are proof of that. Mother Africa, sounds great doesn’t it? Now, to deepen our commitment and help stop all harm to our original homeland. One race, one world.
Please excuse me if this seems utterly disconnected.


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