Interracial relationships are increasingly common these days. While interracial couples in the U.S. are still subject to racism, data suggests that the vast majority of Americans approve of them. 

Most people also say they themselves would be open to dating someone of a different race and would not be opposed to someone in their close family having a relationship with a person of a different race.

We’ve gathered interesting statistics on interracial dating to examine the public’s level of acceptance of interracial couples over time as well as what it’s like for people who are part of an interracial couple today. 

94% of Americans Say They Approve of Interracial Marriages 

More than 90% of Americans surveyed said they approve of interracial marriages between Black and white people, according to a 2021 poll by Gallup. The polling organization has been asking this question at various intervals since 1958, when just 4% of Americans surveyed said they approved of interracial marriage. 

The 2021 poll found that white and non-white adults surveyed were similarly likely to approve of interracial marriage, with 93% of white Americans and 96% of non-white Americans saying they approve of marriage between Black and white people. This gap is within the poll’s margin of error. 

Interracial marriage wasn’t legalized in the U.S. until 1967, when the Supreme Court ruled on Loving v. Virginia. When Gallup surveyed Americans the year after the decision, they found that only 20% of Americans surveyed said they approved of marriages between white and Black people. 

About 1 in 5 Married Couples Are Interracial

Data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2022 found that 31% of married same-sex couples were interracial, compared with the 19% of married opposite-sex couples who were interracial. 

interracial marriage stats

What about unmarried couples? According to census data, interracial couple households were also more common among same-sex (34%) than opposite-sex (29%) unmarried couples.

Most Americans Would Date Someone of a Different Race 

A 2013 poll conducted by YouGov found that 70% of Americans said they were willing to date someone of a different race. Of those surveyed, men (76%) were more likely than women (64%) to say this. 

In this poll, 78% of 18-to 34-year-olds surveyed said they would date someone of a different race. Among people 55 and older in the survey, 66% said the same. 

A staggering 81% of Black Americans surveyed said they would be willing to date someone of a different race; 63% of white Americans in the survey said the same. 

Almost Half of Cohabitating Asian Adults in the U.S. Have a Partner of a Different Race

Among cohabiting adults surveyed, 18% said they have a partner of a different race or ethnicity, according to data from Pew Research Center shared in 2017. “Cohabitating” refers to people who are living together but not married. 

White cohabitating adults in the survey were the least likely (12%) among the major racial and ethnic groups to be living with a partner of a different race or ethnicity. Among the surveyed Black people living with a partner, 20% reported living with a partner of a different race or ethnicity; this number rose to 24% among Hispanic cohabitors surveyed. 

generational stats interracial marriage

Asian adults in the U.S. are especially likely to live with a partner of a different race, according to survey results. Among Asian adults who live with a partner, 46% of those surveyed said they are living with a partner of a different race or ethnicity.

Among those in the survey who said they were cohabitating with a partner of a different race or ethnicity, 20% were millennials, 18% were Gen Xers, and 13% were Baby Boomers. 

The Percentage of Interracial Married Couples Is on the Rise 

A 2018 article based on U.S. Census data revealed “The percentage of married-couple households that are interracial or interethnic grew across the United States from 7.4 to 10.2 percent from 2000 to 2012-2016.”

Much of the increase is attributed to the number of non-Hispanic white people married to Hispanic people, which increased in 43.2% of counties across the country. 

The biggest increases in the number of married-couple households that are interracial occurred in Hawaii, Oklahoma, and the District of Columbia. In these places, the percentage of interracial and interethnic married-couple households increased by 4.34 percentage points or more between 2000 and 2012-2016. 

The Majority of Americans Say They Would Accept a Family Member Marrying a Person of a Different Race 

The share of Americans who would oppose someone in their family marrying a person of a different race has fallen dramatically, according to data from Pew Research Center

As of 2017, just one in 10 Americans said they would oppose a close relative marrying someone of a different race or ethnicity. 

Survey respondents who identified as white (12%) or Black (9%) were more likely than respondents who identified as Hispanic (3%) to say they would oppose a close relative marrying someone of a different race or ethnicity. 

research data interracial marriage

Responses also differed according to the survey respondent’s political party. People surveyed who said they were Republican or Republican-leaning were more likely (16%) to oppose a close relative marrying someone of a different race.

Only 7% of those respondents who said they were Democrats or who said they lean toward the Democratic Party said this. Among whites, 17% of Republicans and 8% of Democrats said they would oppose an intermarriage in their family.

Women May Be Less Likely to Date People of a Different Race 

As reported in the Chicago Booth Review, research shows that women are more likely to prefer men of their own race. 

In one of the studies mentioned in the article, researchers set up a speed-dating event at a restaurant in New York City. Participants knew it was an experiment about dating, but were not informed that it related to race. The researchers tracked the matches made and how those differed according to variables that included race, intelligence, and success. 

The findings: 47% of the matches were interracial, which is higher than the current interracial-marriage rate in the U.S. They also found that “Women were particularly likely to prefer men of their own race, while older people and people who were rated as more attractive were less likely to have same-race preferences.”

Another study referenced in the Chicago Booth Review article analyzed the behavior of 22,000 people who used a dating website in 2003. Researchers in this study found that most people preferred their own race, and that women exhibited stronger same-race preferences than men. 

Many Black Women Feel They Have to Educate a White Partner on Issues of Race 

One study published in Sociological Forum set out to examine what it’s like for interracial couples to discuss racism, particularly in couples where one person is white. Among other findings, 11 of the 21 Black women interviewed referenced educating white partners on race, racism or racial culture. That’s just over 50%. 

Six of the Black women interviewed — around 29% — said they found themselves struggling with their partner’s racism and sexism. While this study was not weighted to be representative, meaning we can’t say that 50% of all Black women in the U.S. in relationships with white men have to educate them on race, it’s certainly data that sheds valuable light on the experience of people in interracial relationships. 

interracial dating stats

The author of the study Marya Mtshali, a lecturer on Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University and a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center, spoke to The Harvard Gazette about the study.

“There’s often this idea that when two people of different races come together, that they’re running through a sea of post-racial daisies. Love conquers all. But the reality is that — and this is not to discount that they love each other, and parts of that love does involve walking through daisies — they’re still dealing with a racially stratified society,” she explained.  

FAQs: What Are the Best Sites for Interracial Dating?

If you’re looking to date people of a specific race, there are some dating sites and apps that are particularly well-suited to this. You’ll want to look for dating platforms that allow you to filter by race or ethnicity, as well as platforms with a large user base. 

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Match is a great dating site for interracial relationships. It’s one of the most popular dating sites around, meaning that plenty of interesting people use it. It has a filtering tool, and Match Group (which owns Match along with several other dating platforms) specifically chose not to remove race and ethnicity filters at a time when many other dating platforms were doing away with them.   

Other dating sites you may want to consider if you’re seeking interracial relationships are Elite Singles, eharmony, and Interracial Dating Central

What Percentage of Interracial Marriages End in Divorce? 

Among its findings in 2012, Pew Research Center shared this information: “An analysis conducted a decade ago found that 10 years after they married, interracial couples had a 41% chance of separation or divorce, compared with a 31% chance among couples who married within their race, according to a study based on the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG).”

It’s worth noting that the data referenced here is from decades ago. It’s also worth noting that a subsequent study found that the marriages most vulnerable to divorce involved white women and non-white men (with the exception of white women married to Hispanic white men). 

Additionally, it found that there’s little to no difference in divorce rates among couplings of white men and non-white women. In fact, marriages between white men and Black women are less likely to end in divorce by the 10th year of marriage than marriages between white men and white women. 

What the Numbers Say About Interracial Dating

In short, a lot goes into a successful relationship. While race and ethnicity are an important part of who a person is, compatibility and a successful marriage are determined by numerous factors. 

We hope the interracial dating stats in this article shed some light on the state of affairs in modern society. We’ve come a long way, but it’s clear we still have further to go in the U.S.

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