More and more Americans are marrying people of different races and ethnicities, reaching at least 1 in 6 newlyweds in 2015, the highest proportion in American history, according to a new study released Thursday. Currently, there are 11 million people—or 1 out of 10 married people—in the United States with a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of US Census Bureau data. This is a big jump from 50 years ago, when the Supreme Court ruled interracial marriage was legal throughout the United States. That year, only 3% of newlyweds were intermarried, meaning they had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity. In 2015, 17% of newlyweds were intermarried.
"There's much greater racial tolerance in the United States, with attitudes having changed in a way where it's much more positive toward interracial marriage," Daniel T. Lichter, director of the Institute for the Social Sciences at Cornell University, tells the AP. "But I think that a greater reason is the growing diversity of the population. There are just more demographic opportunities for people to marry someone of another race or ethnicity." Researchers say Asian-Americans were most likely to intermarry in 2015, with 29% of newlywed Asians married to someone of a different race or ethnicity, followed by Hispanics at 27%, blacks at 18%, and whites at 11%.