There once was a time in America — not too long ago — when the ebony and ivory piano keys, metaphorically, could not legally live in harmony. When The Supremes were in full swing with their shimmery dresses and funky hairstyles, Black and White love was strictly forbidden. But thanks to Loving v. Virginia, a 1967 landmark Supreme Court case, today’s Halles, Paulas, and Imans needn’t hide their affections for their fair-skinned lovers.
It’s been 47 years since interracial marriage was given the green light. That being said, what does the U.S. marital landscape look like now? Well, let’s take a look at today’s interracial couples in America by the numbers, shall we?
Today, a record-high 87 percent of Americans approve of Whites and Blacks tying the knot, according to Gallup. Compare this to 1959’s measly four percent!
Take a look at how the U.S. gradually warmed up to the idea of a Black and White union:
1959 – 4 percent
1971 – 29 percent
1982 – 43 percent
1995 – 48 percent
2008 – 77 percent
2013 – 87 percent
Stats also show that Blacks have always approved Black-White marriages more than Whites.
In 1969, 56 percent of Blacks were down for the swirl compared to only 17 percent of Whites. In 1995, 68 percent of Blacks approved while only 45 percent of Whites did the same. Today, the approval gap is at its smallest — 96 percent of Blacks are a-okay with interracial marriages compared to 84 percent of Whites.
Unsurprisingly, Americans over the age 65 and residents of the South are least likely to support a racially-mixed family. Oh well! They will just have to get over the fact that there are over 5 million interracially-married couples in the US, according to the latest census data. That’s 9.5 percent of all married Americans.
But which group, among all interracial marriages, are the most common? Hispanics and Whites! Take a look at the percentages behind America’s interracial combinations:
White & Hispanic – 37 percent of all interracial marriages
White & Asian – 13.7 percent
White & Black – 7.9 percent
The Daily News points to “a steady flow of new Asian and Hispanic immigrants” in the West as the reason behind their high rates of interracial coupling.
And now, let’s talk about our favorite topic here at MadameNoire Business: Money!
According to Pew Research Trends, White and Asian newlyweds have the highest combined income compared to any other pairing (including non-interracial marriages) with a median of $70,952. Here’s the median income of all marriage combos in America:
White & Asian – $71,000
Asian & Asian – $62,000
White & White – $60,000
White & Hispanic – $57,900
White & Black – $53,187
Black & Black – $47,700
Hispanic & Hispanic – $36,000
Now, let’s zero in on Black Americans who marry outside their race. Black men are more than twice as likely to intermarry than their Black female counterparts (24 percent vs. 9 percent). The latest data shows that 17 percent of Blacks in 2010 “married out” — compare this to nine, 26, and 28 percent of Whites, Hispanics, and Asians, respectively.
The mid-Atlantic region, according to Business Insider, has the highest concentration of Black and White lovers — this includes Virginia, Maryland, and D.C.
I know what you’re thinking, “Are any of these interracial marriages actually lasting?” Well, it depends.
Interracial marriages have a 41 percent chance of swirling out of control. Compare this to a 31 percent chance of divorce among same-race couples. According to the most recent data on the matter, 2008 figures show that the pairing of White females and Asian males are most vulnerable to divorce. Conversely, Black women and White men are most likely to stick by their vows.
The probability of divorce by the 10th year of marriage, relative to White/White unions, are as follows:
White Wife & Asian Husband – 59 percent more likely to divorce in comparison to same-race white couples
White Wife & Black Husband – 50 percent more likely to divorce
Asian Wife & White Husband – 4 percent more likely to divorce
Black Wife & White Husband – 44 percent less likely to divorce.
Whether we like it or not, America is changing — and that’s in part to interracial blending. While bigotry will always exist, newer generations are becoming more open-minded and less insular. Not only is the nation’s mindset evolving, but “the face” of America is also morphing. “We’ve become a country where race is no longer so black or white,” National Geographic says.
In 2050, because of today’s tolerant Millennials, NatGeo projects that the average American will look like this.
What do you think?
Check out Moguldom Studios’ docutainment film on interracial dating, “The Swirl,” available now on iTunes, VHX, and Google Play here.
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