About 15% of new marriages in 2010 were interracial marriages, a rate that has doubled since 1980, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. Of all marriages in the US, 8% are now interracial; that's up from 3% three decades prior. The numbers are increasing as the stigma subsides, the Washington Post notes, and most Americans now say an interracial marriage in their own family would not bother them. "In the past half-century, intermarriage has evolved from being illegal, to being taboo, to being merely unusual," says a Pew director. And, "with each passing year, it becomes less unusual."
Asians and Hispanics are the most likely to intermarry, but those rates have remained largely unchanged since 1980. The rate of blacks who marry outside their race, however, more than tripled to 17% during that time period, while the rate for whites more than doubled to 9%. However, we're far from a postracial society, one sociologist notes, because most intermarriages involve a white spouse. "Most of the minorities who outmarry are not marrying other minorities," he says. "It’s not a melting pot."