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A Look at Interracial and Interethnic Married Couple Households in the U.S. in 2010

Thu Apr 26 2012
Rose M. Kreider
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Marriages among couples of different races or ethnicities have increased from about 8 percent in 2000 to 10 percent in 2010 for householders and their spouses. But what are the most common types of these relationships? If we define intermarriage as either spouses of different races, or couples that include one Hispanic spouse and one non-Hispanic spouse, the most common type is Hispanic/non-Hispanic marriage. Forty-five percent of intermarried couple households in 2010 contained Hispanic/non-Hispanic couples.

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The next most common group was those in which one of the spouses reported more than one race for themselves and the other spouse reported only one race (16 percent).  The third and fourth most common interracial or interethnic combinations were couples with one white non-Hispanic spouse and one Asian non-Hispanic spouse, at 14 percent, followed by couples with one white non-Hispanic spouse and one black non-Hispanic spouse at 8 percent.

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We can also look at the percent of people in a particular racial or ethnic group that is married to someone who is not in the same group.

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It is easy to see that race groups that are relatively smaller in the U.S. have higher proportions of people married to someone of a different group. For example, 59 percent of American Indian and Alaskan Native women were intermarried, as were 42 percent of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander women and 22 percent of Asian women. However, just 4 percent of white non-Hispanic women were married to someone who is a different race or is Hispanic. Similarly, 6 percent of black women were married to a spouse of another race or ethnicity.  Nearly 1 in 5 Hispanic women were married to a non-Hispanic man (19 percent).

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For more details on the geographic distribution of interracial and interethnic couple households in 2010, and a profile of interracial opposite-sex and same-sex partner households, see the Households and Families: 2010 brief, and the webinar that accompanies the release.

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