Marina Adshade

Economist, Writer, and Speaker | Women, sex, love, and work

A Few Thoughts on Interracial Marriage

This week’s Pew Center report finding that the rate of interracial marriage in the US continues to rise garnered very little attention presumably because we are all familiar with this trend. I thought, however, it was worth mentioning some points within that report that we should be talking about.

The first is that almost 24% of black men who took the walk down the aisle in 2010 did so with a woman of a different race – that’s an increase of 2 percentage points in only two years. The share of black women who married men of a different race also increased slightly, but at only 9% of marriages the share is tiny in comparison.

Study after study has illustrated that black women have the strongest same-race preference when it comes to dating and marriage (see my previous post here), but this current trend has to make us wonder whether/how those preferences will change in the coming years in light of the continuingly decreasing pool of available same-race partners.

(As an aside, marriages between white men and black women are far more likely to survive than are marriages between white men and white women so while of the flow into these marriages may be small the stock should be increasing over time.)

The second interesting point is that among Asian women who married in 2012 more than one third (36%) married outside of their race compared to 17% of Asian men. For both genders the share is smaller than two years earlier (by 3 percentage points for each), but what is really interesting is the massive decline in mixed race marriages among Asian men and women who were born in the US – a 9 percentage point decline (47% to 38%) in only two years.

There has to be a good economic story here – particularly given that among all possible groupings of married couples (same race and interracial) Asian-white married couples have the highest median incomes: $9,000 higher than the Asian-Asian couples and $11,000 higher than white-white couples.

Finally, the story of interracial marriage continues to revolve around education rates, particularly for the Hispanic population. Hispanic men who married white women were more likely to have a college degree than were Hispanic men who married Hispanic women – 23% compared to just 10%. Hispanic women who married white men were 20 percentage points more likely to be college educated compared to Hispanic women who married Hispanic men (33% compared to 13%).

White-Hispanic marriages were, by a long shot, the most common combination of mixed race marriages making up 43% in 2010.

This trend for educated Hispanics to “marry out” has long run implications for a community whose newly married couples have the lowest median incomes relative to all other newlyweds.




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  1. Quentin

    Hey to all you peoples who keep saying black men this black men that Stop it.Because i have been dating a lot of black women who have 10,12 kids with white men .They dont take of them.I dont know whats wrong a black men did to black women that the white didnot already done like rape them back then.Black women if you wanna go dating or married somebody from another race thats your business.But keep the black men name off your mouth.Because we not doing anything wrong to you.

  2. Quentin

    What you need focus is learning about your history where you came from.Theyre talking about black men are lazy.Of course we black men are not suppose to work today.Because our grandparents already did.They kidnapped them from Africa i CALL it kidnapp because They would dare come without guns And put us to slavery.We were gonna give them a billion whoppin .Our grandparents already work hard for FREE for 400 years.We black men suppose to have a reparation check deliver at our mailbox every month.While we sit in the house eat And play videogame.And having a Bentley park outside.

  3. Santonio

    Instead of talking about that interracial crap let talk about marriage between the rich And the poor.Because the wealth in the world suppose to be for every human being..

    • Live and let live I say. And if a stranger’s maiagrre is causing concern about the viability of your own maiagrre and relationship; then that is the time to put down the newspaper and talk to your partner. Because you have an issue. Good post

  4. Dirty Replay

    You’ve got to lay off what happened to your ancestors when they came here. It happened to them, not you. No one owes you anything, since you were not part of slavery. The government would owe your ancestors an apology and ‘bentleys’, not you. You did not suffer like they did. You are a different person. You are not owed a free ride because of what happened to your family that you never met. Plus, you probably wouldn’t appreciate the money and apologies as much as they would. So move on with your life and take responsibility for your actions; just like everyone else should. We’ve all moved on. New laws have been created.

    • The vast majority of gay maeiragrs involve no children, so that argument is nonsense. If that were the sole point of marriage, should we ban marriage between people who are infertile? Do we force people to divorce based on lack of offspring? Ban marriage over a certain age, perhaps?The whole they cannot have children’ argument is a red herring. The truth is that those who use that argument are homophibic and/or religious bigots.Now, on the subject of divorce: Yes, it is preposterous for anti gay marriage proponents to use the sanctity of marriage’ argument when almost half of all maeiragrs end in divorce. Te institution is NOT sanctified, it is a secular convenience, easily thrown away when the need arises. That is just a fact of life. The truth is that we cannot minimize the divorce rate. You could in theory go back to the old days where a divorce was difficult, but who does that serve? It is better to force a couple to stay together when they do no want to? No. Does that help the children? No.

    • What is important about the dnceerfife in importance of gay marriage or lower divorce rates?I believe that gays should be able to marry if they want but I also believe that people should be able to divorce if they want to. More work should be put in before marriage so that people do not have unrealistic expectations of their partner. Eveyone is on best behaviour at the start of a r’ship but after a while there is farting in bed and other nasties creep out. Live and let live. Love the person and over-look the odd bad trait. I am very untidy but my husband is tidy to OCD proportions. I must drive him mad but we’ve been together a long, long, time.On the question of bio parenthood, I was adopted as was my brother by two lovely human beings who wanted us our real parents didn’t need I say more?Best of luckMo

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