A new study of interracial marriages in the United States since the 1980s suggests that the racial boundary between blacks and whites continues to break down, although it has not disappeared yet. The study, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, says that marriages between blacks and whites have continued to increase. Meanwhile, Latin and Hispanic Americans have started marrying their racial compatriots from among newly arrived immigrants.
According to Qian, understanding changes in interracial marriages is complex because it involves two different factors. It considers first: “the marriage market of who is available to marry," said Qian. But it also involves individuals’ choices about who they would be willing to marry.
“It used to be that race trumped everything, including education, when it came to marriage between blacks and whites; that is changing. For the first time, we found that highly educated blacks and whites were more likely to intermarry. That is very significant and is another sign that racial boundaries are blurring,” stated Zhenchao Qian, a professor of sociology at Ohio State University.
Even though the rate of marrages between whites and African Americans is increasing rapidly, the total of those marriages is "still a small number,” said Zhenchao Qian, lead author of the study and professor of sociology at Ohio State University.
“Our results point to better race relations in 2008 than 1980, but we still have a way to go." Zhenchao Qian
In 1980, only 5 percent of black men married a white woman, but that increased to 14 percent in 2008. Still, by comparison, 38 percent of Asian American men and Hispanic men married a white woman in 2008.
For More Information: Qian. Z, Lichter. D, “Changing Patterns of Interracial Marriage in a Multiracial Society”, Journal of Marriage and Family, October 2011.