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Growth in Interracial and Interethnic Married-Couple Households

Brittany Rico, Rose M. Kreider and Lydia Anderson

Marriage looks a lot different today in many ways than in years past. As our nation becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, so are married couples.

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. This change varied across states and counties and for specific interracial/interethnic combinations.

There are seven types of interracial/interethnic married-couple combinations that make up 95.1 percent of all such married couples. The largest of these is non-Hispanic whites married to Hispanics, which increased in 43.2 percent of counties. In contrast, just 3.0 percent of counties showed an increase in the percentage of married-couple households that were non-Hispanic whites married to non-Hispanic American Indians or Alaska Natives.

Where the Growth Happened

All states experienced an increase in the percentage of interracial and interethnic married-couple households from 2000 to 2012-2016.

  • Two states, Hawaii and Oklahoma, and the District of Columbia increased by 4.34 percentage points or more.
  • Nine states, located mostly in the West and the Mid-Atlantic region, increased by 3.34 to 4.33 percentage points.
  • Seventeen states increased by 2.40 to 3.33 percentage points.
  • The remaining 22 states increased by less than 2.40 percentage points.

While the percentage of married-couple households that are interracial/interethnic increased overall, this varied by county.

There are county-level maps for specific interracial/interethnic married-couple combinations, such as couples in which one spouse is non-Hispanic white alone and one spouse is Hispanic.

 

Brittany Rico, Rose M. Kreider and Lydia Anderson are family demographers in the Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics Branch.

 

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