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Over the last several decades, the American public has grown increasingly accepting of interracial dating and marriage.
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.
The Pew Research Center’s recent report on racial attitudes in the U.
S., finds that an overwhelming majority of Millennials, regardless of race, say they would be fine with a family member’s marriage to someone of a different racial or ethnic group.
Her research explores the intersection of personal relationships and racial justice activism.
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. Asked about particular groups to which they do not belong, Millennials are about equally accepting of marriage to someone in any of the groups tested: Roughly nine-in-ten say they would be fine with a family member’s marriage to an African American (88%), a Hispanic American (91%), an Asian American (93%) or a white American (92%).This high level of acceptance among Millennials holds true across ethnic and racial groups; there is no significant difference between white, black and Hispanic Millennials in the degree of acceptance of interracial marriage.Take a look at the chart below: Initially, as I looked at the bars representing black men next to the bar representing black women, I was perplexed. Because the proportions are so similar; it looked to me like black men and black women marry “out” at the same rate, and to the same other race/ethnicity. But how is that possible when we know from an even earlier post focusing on black/white interracial relationships (see chart below) that there are far more white women and black men married than there are white men and black women? Data in the bar chart are of blacks who “out-married”, while the line graph compares raw numbers of black/white couples. The data show that 14.6 percent of all marriages in the U. occurred between people of differing ethnicities/races. The distinction between new marriages and already married people is an important one to pay attention to because it tells us what population the statistic refers to; without keeping that in mind, the numbers tell us nothing.It is hard to qualify 14.6 percent or 8.0 percent of almost anything as being abundant; the bottom line regarding interracial marriage in the U. Notice that some headlines highlight this comparison: In 1980, 3.2 percent of all married people were in interracial relationships, but 8.0 percent were in 2010. Given the social and legal context of the day, even without knowledge of the data of the last 30 years, would you have guessed that there was a rash of interracial marriages in 1968, 1969, or 1970?Other demographic characteristics also are correlated with attitudes towards interracial marriage.Both overall and within each generation, acceptance of interracial marriage is positively associated with being female and with higher levels of education.Scholars from around the country are at UC Berkeley this week for a conference exploring racial justice.It’s called "Race & Inequality in America: The Kerner Commission at 50." It refers to the commission created in 1968 by President Johnson to investigate the race riots of 1967, and explore the frustrations in Black communities. Shantel Buggs is a social scientist from Florida State University.