Intermarriage rates soar as stereotypes fall

Intermarriage rates soar as stereotypes fall

The Washington Post

Carol Morello

Virginia leads the nation in the percentage of marriages between blacks and whites, a new study by the Pew Research Center shows, barely four decades after state laws criminalizing interracial marriage were struck down by the Supreme Court. And one in five new married couples in the District crossed racial and ethnic lines.

The prevalence of intermarriage in and around the Washington area reflects demographic changes that are pushing interracial marriage rates to an all-time high in the United States while toppling historical taboos among younger people…

Dan Lichter, a Cornell University sociologist who has studied intermarriage, said the trend shows the continuing blurring of racial boundaries.

“Different racial and ethnic minorities are increasingly sharing the same social space, in their neighborhoods, their job settings and schools,” Lichter said. “It’s a reflection of declining inequality on a lot of fronts, including income and education.”

But a postracial society remains a long way off, he added.

“Most of the minorities who outmarry are not marrying other minorities,” Lichter said. “They’re outmarrying to whites. It’s not a melting pot.

Nathan Nash, a black man who is divorced from a Korean American woman he was married to for five years, said that is particularly true for African Americans. A technology consultant who used to live in the District and now lives in Orange County, Calif., Nash said he has Asian friends who would not consider dating blacks…

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