Interracial Marriage at All-Time High

Pew study finds 8.4 percent of marriages are of mixed-race couples

by Lesley Kennedy • Reporter

I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being—neither white, black, brown, or red; and when you are dealing with humanity as a family there's no question of integration or intermarriage. It's just one human being marrying another human being or one human being living around and with another human being. ―Malcolm X, Autobiography of Malcolm X

More and more Americans are agreeing with Malcolm X, as a new Pew Research Center study shows interracial marriages in the U.S. are at an all-time high of 1 in 12, the Associated Press reports.

“The rise in interracial marriage indicates that race relations have improved over the past quarter century,” Cornell University sociology professor Daniel Lichter tells the news service. “Mixed-race children have blurred America's color line. They often interact with others on either side of the racial divide and frequently serve as brokers between friends and family members of different racial backgrounds. But America still has a long way to go.”

According to the study, 8.4 percent of current marriages in the United States are interracial, a jump from 3.2 percent back in 1980. Most likley to marry outside their race: Hispanics and Asians, the AP reports.

“In the past century, intermarriage has evolved from being illegal, to be a taboo and then to be merely unusual. And with each passing year, it becomes less unusual,” Paul Taylor, director of the Pew Social & Demographic Trends project, tells the news service. “That says a lot about the state of race relations. Behaviors have changed and attitudes have changed.”


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First Published February 17, 2012

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