Jeter, a Black and Native American woman, and Loving, a White man, fell in love and decided to get married.They lived in Virginia, one of the states that still banned “miscegenation” – the derogatory term used to describe interracial coupling – so they needed to travel to the District of Columbia to be officially recognized as a couple.They were married in “Whiteness.” Although the couple initially pled guilty, they later decided to dispute the law, and took their fight all the way to the Supreme Court.
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.
Americans on whether they believed it was acceptable for Blacks and Whites to date each other.
At that time, less than 50% of Americans thought interracial dating was acceptable. Our examination of the data suggests that the increasing rate of intermarriage may be driven by demographic changes more than changing attitudes.
Today, there are proportionately more Asians, Hispanics and people of other racial/ethnic backgrounds in the United States than ever.
These racial/ethnic groups have always been unusually likely to intermarry.There are also fewer White people – the group that has always been least likely to intermarry.Once these demographic changes are accounted for, a large portion of the increase in intermarriage rates vanishes.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.This next chart displays intermarriage rates across time for the America’s four major racial/ethnic groups for the same period.