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Interracial Marriage Grows, Tolerance Grows

February 16, 2012

In a number of years we will look at gay marriage in the same context as this story, and wonder why there was such a storm about it.

Interracial marriage in the USA reached an all-time high in 2010: 8.4% of all marriages, compared with 3.2% in 1980, finds a Pew Research Center study, released today, that analyzes unions between spouses of different races or ethnic groups.

Among marriages in 2010, 15% of couples married outside their race or ethnicity.

“Interracial marriage has gone from taboo to a rarity, and with each passing year, it’s less of a rarity,” says Pew’s Paul Taylor. Pew reviewed Census data from more than 850,000 people in the American Community Survey between 2008 and 2010.

In addition, Pew surveyed 2,003 adults in September and found more tolerance: 43% agree that “more people of different races marrying each other has been a change for the better in our society.” Another 44% say it made no difference; 11% say it’s been a change for the worse.

Pew found that minorities, younger adults, the college-educated, those who say they’re “liberal” and those who live in the Northeast and the West are more likely to view intermarriage positively.

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