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4 in 10 new marriages multiracial in America, study shows

An influx of immigrants has sparked diversity and more multiracial marriages in America, according to a Brookings Institution article that notes whites are the most likely partner.

William H. Frey adapted the data from his book “Diversity Explosion: How Racial Demographics Are Remaking America.” In his blog post, the demographer notes that the vast majority of American Indians who marry wed someone of another race — and often individuals who call themselves multiracial, “signaling an extensive blurring that has already occurred among American Indian and white populations.”

Blacks are the least likely of the major racial groups to marry someone from another race, but that number, too, has increased recently to nearly 3 in 10 new marriages.

In 1960, notes Frey, only 0.4 percent of all U.S. marriages were multiracial. In 2010, it was 8.4 percent overall — and 15 percent for new marriages.

A 2012 Pew Research Center report called “The Rise of Intermarriage” noted differences in genders when it came to marrying within or outside of one's race. “About 24 percent of all black male newlyweds in 2010 married outside their race, compared with just 9 percent of black female newlyweds,” the report said. “Among Asians, the gender pattern runs the other way. About 36 percent of Asian female newlyweds married outside their race in 2010, compared with just 17 percent of Asian male newlyweds. Intermarriage rates among white and Hispanic newlyweds do not vary by gender.”

The Charleston Daily Mail pointed out that “interracial marriages were illegal in 16 states in 1967 before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the marriage bans. The high court ruled these bans violated the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th Amendment.”

The case was Loving vs. Virginia. Richard Loving, who was white, married Mildred Jeter, who was black. The marriage was legal in Washington, D.C., where the ceremony took place. When they moved to Virginia, they were charged, pleaded guilty and the judge sentenced them to a year in jail, but suspended the sentence as long as they left the state and not return as a couple for 25 years. When they settled in Washington, D.C., they sued. The high court eventually ruled in their favor.

The high court ruled these bans violated the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th Amendment.

Noted a PBS article, “While polls show that interracial marriages across the United States are increasingly accepted, some disapproval is still overt: A 2013 Cheerios ad featuring a biracial family sparked so many racist remarks on Youtube that comments had to be disabled.”

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