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The share has tripled since 1980, when 3% of married people – about 3 million altogether – had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity.
Overall increases in intermarriage have been fueled in part by rising intermarriage rates among black newlyweds and among white newlyweds.
The same was true in 1980, when 4% of recently married men and 4% of recently married women had intermarried.
As is the case among whites, intermarriage is about equally common for newlywed Hispanic men and women.
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. born and the foreign born: Among immigrant Hispanic newlyweds, intermarriage rates range from 9% among those with a high school diploma or less up to 33% for those with a bachelor’s degree or more; and among the U. born, rates range from 32% for those with a high school diploma or less up to 56% for those with a bachelor’s degree or more.
In 2015, 26% of recently married Hispanic men were married to a non-Hispanic, as were 28% of their female counterparts.
By comparison, in 1980, the first year for which detailed data are available, about 230,000 newlyweds had done so.
About three-in-ten Asian newlyweds (29%) have a spouse 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 size of each racial and ethnic group can also influence intermarriage rates by affecting the pool of potential marriage partners in the “marriage market,” which consists of all newlyweds and all unmarried adults combined.
For example, whites, who comprise the largest share of the U. population, may be more likely to marry someone of the same race simply because most potential partners are white.
The share of recently married blacks with a spouse of a different race or ethnicity has more than tripled, from 5% in 1980 to 18% in 2015.
Among recently married whites, rates have more than doubled, from 4% up to 11%. The pattern is similar among Asian newlyweds, three-fourths of whom are immigrants. Significant growth in the Hispanic and Asian populations in the U. since 1980, coupled with the high rates of intermarriage among Hispanic and Asian newlyweds, has been an important factor driving the rise in intermarriage.
In 2015, 13% of recently married men with a high school diploma or less and 14% of women with the same level of educational attainment had a spouse of another race or ethnicity, as did 19% of recently married men with some college and 18% of comparable women.