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Interracial Marriage: 2008 Stats
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May 27, 2010, 02:18 AM
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Here`s a rather incoherent article from the AP on new interracial marriage statistics from the Census Bureau. Unfortunately, the Census Bureau hasn`t released the numbers yet, as far as I can tell, so we`re stuck with the sneak preview they gave the AP.

Two caveats: first, you need to keep in mind the stock v. flow issue of marriages v. weddings. The Census Bureau typically counts marriages (i.e., two people who are legally married to each other) but not weddings (two people getting legally married to each other). The reality that this article is groping toward is that while the stock of interracial marriages as a percent of all marriages continues to rise as the older married couples, from eras when interracial marriage was very rare, die off, but the percent of new interracial weddings as a percent of all new weddings does not seem to be increasing as fast as before.

Second, in my long experience with Census studies of interracial marriage, going back to my 1997 "Is Love Colorblind?" article in National Review, only data from the decennial enumerations (years ending in a 0) were of sufficient sample size to accurately capture trends in interracial marriage rates. The Census Bureau has been working to improve the sample sizes in their interim studies, but who knows whether this one is good enough?

Interracial marriage still rising, but not as fast By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – Melting pot or racial divide? The growth of interracial marriages is slowing among U.S.-born Hispanics and Asians. Still, blacks are substantially more likely than before to marry whites.

The number of interracial marriages in the U.S. has risen 20 percent since 2000 to about 4.5 million, according to the latest census figures. While still growing, that number is a marked drop-off from the 65 percent increase between 1990 and 2000.

About 8 percent of U.S. marriages are mixed-race, up from 7 percent in 2000.

The latest trend belies notions of the U.S. as a post-racial, assimilated society. Demographers cite a steady flow of recent immigration that has given Hispanics and Asians more ethnically similar partners to choose from while creating some social distance from whites due to cultural and language differences.

I wrote a VDARE.com column about exactly this happening in California in 2000: "Continued Immigration Retards Growth of Interracial Marriage." It`s logically obvious that as minorities become majorities, they have fewer daily interactions with whites and thus are less likely to fall in love with them and marry them.

White wariness toward a rapidly growing U.S. minority population also may be contributing to racial divisions, experts said.

"Racial boundaries are not going to disappear anytime soon," said Daniel Lichter, a professor of sociology and public policy at Cornell University. He noted the increase in anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S. after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks as well as current tensions in Arizona over its new immigration law.

"With a white backlash toward immigrant groups, some immigrants are more likely to turn inward to each other for support," Lichter said.

Yeah, yeah, yeah ...

Broken down by race, about 40 percent of U.S.-born Asians now marry whites — a figure unchanged since 1980.

Unfortunately, this doesn`t break out the important gender gap in white-Asian marriages. In 1990, 72% of white-Asian marriages involved a white man and Asian woman, while in 2000, 75% involved a white man and an Asian woman.

Their likelihood of marrying foreign-born Asians, meanwhile, multiplied 3 times for men and 5 times for women, to roughly 20 percent.

One of the things that is going on is that the "Asian" population is becoming less East Asian and more South Asian, where the gender gap is very different. Also, South Asians are more into arranged marriages with somebody from the Old Country than are East Asians.

Among U.S.-born Hispanics, marriages with whites increased modestly from roughly 30 percent to 38 percent over the past three decades. But when it came to marriages with foreign-born Hispanics, the share doubled — to 12.5 percent for men, and 17.1 percent for women.

In Southern California, I just do not see 38% of the couples walking down the street together where at least one person is Latino and the other person is white. I`d say it`s more like 10%. Maybe it`s different in Texas. Maybe interethnic marriage is most common among very white Hispanics, possibly ones who are only 1/2 or 1/4 Hispanic by ancestry, so these couples are not very visible by looks.

Although the Census allows people to identify themselves as being of multiple races, it does not allow them to identify as both Hispanic and non-Hispanic, so people of mixed ethnicities tend to show up in Census stats as solely Hispanic.

Or maybe white-Hispanic marriages are hugely common in working class exurbs in California where I don`t hang out much. I don`t know. But I don`t see white-Latino couples much at, say, the movies in Van Nuys.

In contrast, blacks are now three times as likely to marry whites than in 1980. About14.4 percent of black men and 6.5 percent of black women are currently in such mixed marriages, due to higher educational attainment, a more racially integrated military and a rising black middle class that provides more interaction with other races.

That would suggest the gender gap in black-white marriages has fallen to 2.21 times as many black men married to white women as white men married to black women, from 2.54X in 1990 and 2.65X in 2000. But, we`ll have to see what the sample size is. The decennial enumerations have been far more trustworthy than interim estimates based on a small samples.

... By some estimates, two-thirds of those who checked the single box of "black" on the census form are actually mixed, including President Barack Obama, who identified himself as black in the 2010 census even though his mother was white.

Census figures also show:

_Hawaii had the highest share of mixed marriages, about 32 percent.

Funny how Mr. Check Only Black Obama was born and raised in Hawaii, which has always been like this.

It was followed by Alaska, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Nevada, which ranged from 15 percent to 19 percent.

You`ll note that California, the state with the highest percentage of immigrants and with what had been the second most (to Hawaii) liberal attitudes among whites on interracial marriage, doesn`t make the top 5.

The bottom five states were Pennsylvania, Maine, Kentucky, Mississippi and West Virginia, each ranging from 3 percent to 4 percent.

_Mississippi had the fastest growth in mixed marriages from 2000-08, a sign of closer ties between blacks and whites, though it still ranked second to last in overall share of mixed marriages.

_Mixed marriages jumped from 2.25 million to 3.7 million, or 65 percent, from 1990-2000, as such unions became more broadly accepted in Southern states.

_Among U.S.-born whites, about 0.3 percent married blacks in 1980; that figure rose to about 1 percent in 2008. About 0.3 percent of whites married Asians in 1980 and about 1 percent in 2008. About 2 percent of whites married Hispanics in 1980, rising to about 3.6 percent in 2008.

The figures come from previous censuses as well as the 2008 American Community Survey, which surveys 3 million households. The figures for "white" refer to those whites who are not of Hispanic ethnicity. For purposes of defining interracial marriages, Hispanic is counted as a race.