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Over the last several decades, the American public has grown increasingly accepting of interracial dating and marriage.
Not surprisingly, given the high levels of acceptance of interracial marriage among Millennials, nearly all 18-to-29-year-olds (93%) agree with the statement “I think it is all right for blacks and whites to date each other.” Pew Research has tracked responses to this question for more than two decades in its study of American political values, most recently in April 2009.
This shift in opinion has been driven both by attitude change among individuals generally and by the fact that over the period, successive generations have reached adulthood with more racially liberal views than earlier generations.
Millennials are no exception to this trend: Large majorities of 18-to-29 year olds express support for interracial marriage within their families, and the level of acceptance in this generation is greater than in other generations.
Smith’s racial identity; unlike 15.5 percent of Blacks, he is not entering an interracial marriage. Both the headlines and the data about interracial marriage remind us that we need to think critically about what numbers we hear about really tell us about social change.
That same chart also highlights the point—displaying data for four racial/ethnic groups—that most newlyweds are not marrying people of a different racial/ethnic background.