By Gretchen Livingston and Anna Brown In 1967, when miscegenation laws were overturned in the United States, 3% of all newlyweds were married to someone of a different race or ethnicity.
Since then, intermarriage rates have steadily climbed.
A substantial gender gap in intermarriage was also present in 1980, when 39% of newly married Asian women and 26% of their male counterparts were married to someone of a different race or ethnicity. While the gender gap among Asian immigrants has remained relatively stable, the gap among the U. born has widened substantially since 1980, when intermarriage stood at 46% among newlywed Asian men and 49% among newlywed Asian women.
Among Asian newlyweds, these gender differences exist for both immigrants (15% men, 31% women) and the U. Among white newlyweds, there is no notable gender gap in intermarriage – 12% of men and 10% of women had married someone of a different race or ethnicity in 2015.
One of the most dramatic patterns occurs among black newlyweds: Black men are twice as likely as black women to have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity (24% vs. This gender gap has been a long-standing one – in 1980, 8% of recently married black men and 3% of their female counterparts were married to someone of a different race or ethnicity.
A significant gender gap in intermarriage is apparent among Asian newlyweds as well, though the gap runs in the opposite direction: Just over one-third (36%) of Asian newlywed women have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, while 21% of Asian newlywed men do.
By 1980, the share of intermarried newlyweds had about doubled to 7%. All told, more than 670,000 newlyweds in 2015 had recently entered into a marriage with someone of a different race or ethnicity.
In 2015, that number stood at 11 million – 10% of all married people.
This pattern may be partly driven by the fact that Hispanics with low levels of education are disproportionately immigrants who are in turn less likely to intermarry.
However, rates of intermarriage increase as education levels rise for both the U. born and the foreign born: Among immigrant Hispanic newlyweds, intermarriage rates range from 9% among those with a high school diploma or less up to 33% for those with a bachelor’s degree or more; and among the U. born, rates range from 32% for those with a high school diploma or less up to 56% for those with a bachelor’s degree or more.
The share of recently married blacks with a spouse of a different race or ethnicity has more than tripled, from 5% in 1980 to 18% in 2015.
Among recently married whites, rates have more than doubled, from 4% up to 11%. The pattern is similar among Asian newlyweds, three-fourths of whom are immigrants. Significant growth in the Hispanic and Asian populations in the U. since 1980, coupled with the high rates of intermarriage among Hispanic and Asian newlyweds, has been an important factor driving the rise in intermarriage.