Since then, intermarriage rates have steadily climbed. By comparison, in , the first year for which detailed data are available, about , newlyweds had done so. The long-term annual growth in newlyweds marrying someone of a different race or ethnicity has led to dramatic increases in the overall number of people who are presently intermarried — including both those who recently married and those who did so years, or even decades, earlier.
Intermarriage varies by race and ethnicity Overall increases in intermarriage have been fueled in part by rising intermarriage rates among black newlyweds and among white newlyweds. At the same time, intermarriage has ticked down among recently married Asians and remained more or less stable among Hispanic newlyweds. Even though intermarriage has not been increasing for these two groups, they remain far more likely than black or white newlyweds to marry someone of a different race or ethnicity.
For newly married Hispanics and Asians, the likelihood of intermarriage is closely related to whether they were born in the U. The pattern is similar among Asian newlyweds, three-fourths of whom are immigrants. The changing racial and ethnic profile of U. At the same time, the share of white newlyweds declined by 15 points and the share of black newlyweds held steady.
And members of smaller racial or ethnic groups may be more likely to intermarry because relatively few potential partners share their race or ethnicity. But size alone cannot totally explain intermarriage patterns. One of the most dramatic patterns occurs among black newlyweds: A significant gender gap in intermarriage is apparent among Asian newlyweds as well, though the gap runs in the opposite direction: While the gender gap among Asian immigrants has remained relatively stable, the gap among the U.
As is the case among whites, intermarriage is about equally common for newlywed Hispanic men and women. These intermarriage rates have changed little since A growing educational gap in intermarriage In the likelihood of marrying someone of a different race or ethnicity was somewhat higher among newlyweds with at least some college experience than among those with a high school diploma or less.
This marks a change from , when there were virtually no educational differences in the likelihood of intermarriage among newlyweds. Strong link between education and intermarriage for Hispanics The association between intermarriage and educational attainment among newlyweds varies across racial and ethnic groups. For instance, among Hispanic newlyweds, higher levels of education are strongly linked with higher rates of intermarriage.
This pattern may be partly driven by the fact that Hispanics with low levels of education are disproportionately immigrants who are in turn less likely to intermarry. However, rates of intermarriage increase as education levels rise for both the U. There is no significant gender gap in intermarriage among newly married Hispanics across education levels or over time.
Intermarriage has risen dramatically at all education levels for blacks, with the biggest proportional increases occurring among those with the least education. Among black newlyweds, there are distinct gender differences in intermarriage across education levels. In , the rate of intermarriage varied by education only slightly among recently married black women: Asians with some college are the most likely to intermarry While intermarriage is associated with higher education levels for Hispanics and blacks, this is not the case among Asian newlyweds.
This pattern reflects dramatic changes since Asian newlyweds with some college are somewhat less likely to be immigrants, and this may contribute to the higher rates of intermarriage for this group. Among whites, little difference in intermarriage rates by education level Among white newlyweds, the likelihood of intermarrying is fairly similar regardless of education level.
The lower rate of intermarriage among older newlyweds in is largely attributable to a lower rate among women. Among recently married men, however, intermarriage did not vary substantially by age. Intermarriage varies little by age for white and Hispanic newlyweds, but more striking patterns emerge among black and Asian newlyweds.
Among Asian newlyweds, a different pattern emerges. A closer look at intermarriage among Asian newlyweds reveals that the overall age pattern of intermarriage — with the highest rates among those in their 40s — is driven largely by the dramatic age differences in intermarriage among newly married Asian women. Though the overall rate of intermarriage does not differ markedly by age among white newlyweds, a gender gap emerges at older ages.
A similar gender gap in intermarriage emerges at older ages for Hispanic newlyweds. Among black newlyweds, men are consistently more likely than women to intermarry at all ages. There are likely many reasons that intermarriage is more common in metro areas than in more rural areas.
Attitudinal differences may play a role. Another factor is the difference in the racial and ethnic composition of each type of area. At the same time, metro areas have larger shares of Hispanics and Asians, who have very high rates of intermarriage. The link between place of residence and intermarriage varies dramatically for different racial and ethnic groups. The increased racial and ethnic diversity of metro areas means that the supply of potential spouses, too, will likely be more diverse.
This fact may contribute to the higher rates of intermarriage for white metro area newlyweds, since the marriage market includes a relatively larger share of people who are nonwhite. Indeed, recently married whites are the only major group for which intermarriage is higher in metro areas.
The same holds true among Hispanics. That intermarriage patterns vary by gender becomes apparent when looking at a more detailed profile of intermarried couples that identifies the race or ethnicity of the husband separately from the race or ethnicity of the wife. However, more notable gender differences emerge for some of the other couple profiles. Interracial and interethnic relationships are about as common among the growing share of cohabitors as they are among newlyweds.
Among people in opposite-sex marriages, there will be no variation in the likelihood of men and women being intermarried. This change has been driven both by increasing levels of educational attainment in the U.