Statistics on Interracial Relationships

Happy Interracial Couple

If you are considering interracial dating, you may be curious about statistics on interracial relationships. While the rate of interracial dating and marriage has definitely grown in the past decades, exactly how many are marrying? Of those who do marry, which ethnic groups are most likely to be together? Additionally, are there any differences between men and women, even of the same ethnicity? Let's look at the numbers to find out.

History of Interracial Relationships

It's kind of hard to believe this today, but as recent as 1967, there was actually state laws that banned interracial marriage. These laws weren't overturned until the Supreme Court case, Loving vs. Virginia in 1967. In that case, the Supreme Court found that it was unconstitutional for the state of Virginia to ban interracial marriage.

The decision was viewed with disfavor by some. A poll conducted two years early, in 1965 by the Gallup Company revealed that 72 percent of whites in the South wanted a ban on interracial marriage. Whites in the north were 42 percent in favor.

Since then, the number of marriages has grown significantly. In 1970 there were only 65,000 marriages involving African-Americans and Whites. In 2005, that number had grown to 422,000. Among all interracial couples, they represented two percent of marriages in 1970 according to a Stanford University study. In 2005, that number was up to seven percent of the 59 million marriages in the United States.

Although there are no longer any laws banning relationships, interracial dating remains a controversial subject for some people.

Detailed Statistics on Interracial Relationships

Instead of looking at raw data which may not feel that relevant to your life, it's more interesting to examine how often men and women of each race have interracial marriages. Keep in mind that since this data represents marriages, the number of interracial dating or cohabitating couples is usually higher.

African-American and White relationships

When African-Americans and Whites marry, there is 2.65 times more likely to be an African-American husband and a white wife. In fact, 73 percent of all African-American and White marriages have this setup.

Asian and White relationships

When Asians and Whites marry, the situation is nearly reversed. In these marriages, it is 3.08 times more likely for the husband to be White and the wife to be Asian.

African-American and Asian relationships

These marriages are still fairly rare. When these couples do marry, it's 6.15 times more likely that the husband will be African-American and the wife Asian.

Hispanic Relationships

When Hispanic men and women decide to marry someone of a different ethnicity, the difference between men and women is nearly equal. Eighteen percent of Hispanic wives are married to a non-Hispanic man. On the flip side, 15 percent of Hispanic men have a non-Hispanic wife.

In marriages involving Hispanics and Whites, it is 1.17 times more likely that the wife is Hispanic and the husband is White than the other way around.

What These Numbers Reveal

While the majority of all races still marry another person of the same race, it can sometimes feel like members of your own race are being chosen by another race. This can occasionally cause a problem if you only want to date or marry someone of your own race.

For example, African-American women have to compete with White women for African-American men, as the numbers above reveal.

Asian men actually are statistically worse off than African-American women. For every 1,000 married Asian women, only 860 Asian men are married. In comparison, for every 1,000 married African-American women, there were 1,059 married African-American men.

This data suggests that Asian men prefer to marry Asian women, but since Asian women are more likely to marry a man of another race, it leaves less Asian women to choose from.

What Should You Do?

Regardless of the statistics on interracial relationships, deciding to date or marry someone of another race is a personal decision. You are likely to face more challenges and possibly family scrutiny if you marry someone of another race. But in return, you have the possibility of enjoying a diversity that same-race couples will never know.

When looking for love, look beyond race, and for that matter, beyond appearance, social status and economic bracket as well. By doing so, you increase your opportunities to find a satisfying, loving relationship.

Statistics on Interracial Relationships