Sep 6, 2022 - Economy

The rise of interracial marriage — and its approval rating

Approval of interracial marriage in the U.S.
Reproduced from Gallup; Chart: Axios Visuals

Here's one of the biggest statistical changes in American opinion: Approval of interracial marriage in the U.S. is at a new high of 94%, according to Gallup polling.

Why it matters: When Gallup first asked the question in 1958, just 4% of Americans approved of interracial couples.

That approval rating is sky-high no matter how you slice the data.

  • Age: 98% of 18- to 29-year-olds approve; 97%, 30–49; 91%, 50+
  • Race: 96% of non-white Americans; 93%, white
  • Region: 94%, East; 93%, Midwest; 93%, South; 97%, West

The prevalence of intermarriage has also increased.

  • Back in 1967, just 3% of married couples were interracial. Now it's 20%, according to Pew Research Center.

The big picture: There are many reasons contributing to the rise of interracial dating and marriages in the U.S., The Guardian reports:

  1. Acceptance of interracial couples has steadily grown — though unique challenges and stressors for these couples still exist. Many interracial couples in the U.S. are feeling anxiety, "with heated public debate on issues involving racial justice, immigration, and even direct attacks on minority groups," CBS News "Sunday Morning" reported.
  2. America is increasingly diverse — and is projected to have a majority minority population by 2045, increasing the diversity of potential romantic partners.
  3. Younger Americans are more educated than ever. There's a higher rate of interracial marriage among those with more education, studies show.

The bottom line: 55 years after the legalization of interracial marriage, Americans nearly unanimously approve of love across races.

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