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Black-White Marriages Drastically Increase Over Last Three Decades

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By Gregory Dale, Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper –

(NNPA) - While the trend of interracial marriages between Whites and American-born Asians, and Whites and Hispanics has slowed over the years, Blacks are more likely than before to marry whites, according to new census data.

The latest census reveals that the number of interracial marriages in the U.S. has increased by 20 percent since 2000 to nearly 4.5 million, according to the Associated Press. While the overall number of interracial marriages is still rising, the pace of that increase has slowed from the 65 percent increase seen between 1990 and 2000. Interracial marriages now account for 8 percent of all U.S. marriages, up from 7 percent in 2000.

According to the data, Blacks are now three times more likely to marry Whites than in 1980. Nearly 14.4 percent of Black men and 6.5 percent of Black women are in interracial marriages.

Experts attribute the number to a more racially integrated military, higher educational attainment and a rising Black middle class that offers more interaction with other races.

Despite the increase, there are still Blacks that would traditionally feel more comfortable only marrying inside their race.

“I would consider dating outside my race but I probably would stay inside because of fewer complications on [my partner’s] family not accepting me,” said Courtney Gamble, a 22-year-old African-American student at Rutgers University. “I might date outside my race but I would [definitely] marry inside my race.”

However, American-born Asians and Hispanics have increasingly married members of their own races over the last decade, according to the census data.

Nearly 40 percent of U.S.-born Asians marry Whites--a number that has not changed since 1980. But their likelihood of marrying Asian immigrants has multiplied 3 times for men and 5 times for women, to nearly 20 percent.

U.S.-born Hispanics saw a small increase in their likelihood to marry Whites, which grew from 30 percent in 1980 to 38 percent today. But their likelihood of marrying foreign-born Hispanic immigrants has doubled, to 12.5 percent for men and 17.1 percent for women.

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