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In 2015, 13% of recently married men with a high school diploma or less and 14% of women with the same level of educational attainment had a spouse of another race or ethnicity, as did 19% of recently married men with some college and 18% of comparable women.Among newlyweds with a bachelor’s degree, 20% of men and 18% of women were intermarried.One of the most dramatic patterns occurs among black newlyweds: Black men are twice as likely as black women to have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity (24% vs. This gender gap has been a long-standing one – in 1980, 8% of recently married black men and 3% of their female counterparts were married to someone of a different race or ethnicity.A significant gender gap in intermarriage is apparent among Asian newlyweds as well, though the gap runs in the opposite direction: Just over one-third (36%) of Asian newlywed women have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, while 21% of Asian newlywed men do.The share has tripled since 1980, when 3% of married people – about 3 million altogether – had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity.Overall increases in intermarriage have been fueled in part by rising intermarriage rates among black newlyweds and among white newlyweds.
For black newlyweds, intermarriage rates are slightly higher among those with a bachelor’s degree or more (21%).The long-term annual growth in newlyweds marrying someone of a different race or ethnicity has led to dramatic increases in the overall number of people who are presently intermarried – including both those who recently married and those who did so years, or even decades, earlier.In 2015, that number stood at 11 million – 10% of all married people.Perhaps more striking – the share of blacks in the marriage market has remained more or less constant (15% in 1980, 16% in 2015), yet their intermarriage rate has more than tripled.While there is no overall gender difference in intermarriage among newlyweds, starkly different gender patterns emerge for some major racial and ethnic groups.
This marks a change from 1980, when there were virtually no educational differences in the likelihood of intermarriage among newlyweds.