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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 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.
In 2015, that number stood at 11 million – 10% of all married people.
One of the most dramatic patterns occurs among black newlyweds: Black men are twice as likely as black women to have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity (24% vs. This gender gap has been a long-standing one – in 1980, 8% of recently married black men and 3% of their female counterparts were married to someone of a different race or ethnicity.
A significant gender gap in intermarriage is apparent among Asian newlyweds as well, though the gap runs in the opposite direction: Just over one-third (36%) of Asian newlywed women have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, while 21% of Asian newlywed men do.
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.
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.
At the same time, intermarriage has ticked down among recently married Asians and remained more or less stable among Hispanic newlyweds. While 24% of foreign-born Asian newlyweds have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, this share rises to 46% among the U. Since that time, the share of all newlyweds that were Hispanic rose 9 percentage points, from 8% to 17%, and the share that were Asian grew from 2% to 6%.
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. Among the half of Hispanic newlyweds who are immigrants, 15% married a non-Hispanic. At the same time, the share of white newlyweds declined by 15 points and the share of black newlyweds held steady.