A half century ago in 1967, U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia that states could not prohibit interracial marriage. At that time, interracial marriage was illegal in 16 southern states.
Over the past 50 years, interracial marriages have become far more common in the United States. A new report from the Pew Research Center examines interracial marriage in the United States today. The data shows that in 1967 when the Loving case was decided, only 3 percent of all newlywed couples were interracial. Today, the figure is 17 percent.
Among major ethnic groups, Asian women are the most likely to be involved in an interracial marriage. For Whites, 12 percent of men and 10 percent of women marry a spouse of a different race. But for African Americans there is a large gender gap. Some 24 percent of Black men marry someone who is not Black, whereas only 12 percent of African American women marry outside their race.
For African Americans, the likelihood of interracial marriage increases as they move up the educational ladder. Some 15 percent of African Americans who graduated from high school but had no college experience were involved in an interracial marriage. The figure rises to 17 percent for those with some college experience but no degree.
Some 21 percent of Black newlyweds with a college degree marry someone from another racial or ethnic group. The gender gap in interracial marriage rates for African Americans is more pronounced at higher education levels. Some 30 percent of Black men with a college degree marry outside their race compared to only 13 percent of Black women with a college degree.