Only about 17% of young married people were not White in 1980, compared to 35% today.So what would America’s intermarriage rate look like if the country had not become more diverse?Diversity also creates more opportunities for intermarriage for all Americans.Almost surely, some of the Whites who were not intermarried in 1980 would have been more likely to marry a person from different race or ethnicity had the population been more diverse.More accepting professed beliefs do not seem to be the main cause of the rise in the number interracial couples.Yet the rates of intermarriage among different racial/ethnic groups show very different trends.Hispanics, Asians, and people who the Census classifies as being of “Other” racial/ethnic backgrounds only made up about 10% of the population in 1980, but today they make up about 29%.
And more than 15% were “intermarriages” – marriages between people who don’t identify as the same racial or ethnic group, up from 6.7% in 1980.
Thus, White people were roughly six times more likely than random to marry another White person.
By 2014, however, Whites were only four times more likely than random to marry another White person.
Americans on whether they believed it was acceptable for Blacks and Whites to date each other.
At that time, less than 50% of Americans thought interracial dating was acceptable. Our examination of the data suggests that the increasing rate of intermarriage may be driven by demographic changes more than changing attitudes.
This next chart displays intermarriage rates across time for the America’s four major racial/ethnic groups for the same period.