PROGRESS

Study: Intermarriage Rate Increased Fivefold in 50 Years

Nearly a fifth of all U.S. couples married in 2015 had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, according to data from the Pew Research Center. This is a fivefold increase since 1967, when the landmark Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case made interracial marriage legal across the country. Nationwide, 11 million people, or one in ten married couples in 2015—not just newlyweds—had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity. Despite increases in intermarriage, however, Pew found that white Americans are the least likely to marry people of a different race or ethnicity, while Asian and Hispanic people are the most likely to intermarry. There’s a gender divide, too: Pew found that black men are twice as likely to marry outside their race as black women. Meanwhile, 36 percent of Asian women married in 2015 had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, compared to 21 percent of Asian men. As of 2010, 39 percent of Americans polled said interracial marriage is good for society, compared to just 9 percent who said it was bad and 52 percent who said it makes no difference.