U s attitudes toward interracial dating are liberalizing
The percentage of intermarried Whites more than tripled from 2.7% in 1980 to 8.5% 2014.
Though this rate of growth is not as high as that of the Black population, it is a larger component of the general rise in intermarriage.
This next chart displays intermarriage rates across time for the America’s four major racial/ethnic groups for the same period.
The most dramatic change over the last several decades is the number of Blacks intermarrying.
In the chart below, the blue trend line is our estimate of the rate of intermarriage if the demographics of the young married population had not changed since 1980 – the orange line shows the actual increase.
While there is still an increase, it is not even close to what we saw in the first chart.
Our “no-demographic change” estimate suggests that intermarriage would have only risen to 6.7% if demographics had not changed – a 1.9% increase, dramatically smaller than the 8.6% increase actually observed.
For example, in 1980, 17% of the young married population was not White.
These racial/ethnic groups have always been unusually likely to intermarry.
The were between Blacks and Whites, nearly twenty times higher than in 1950.
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.
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.
There are also fewer White people – the group that has always been least likely to intermarry.