A woman smiles in a large group of attendees under a festival tent at Loving Day NYC 2011.
Loving Day NYC 2011. Credit: Willie Davis

How are opinions and demographics changing?

Attitudes & Statistics

Learn about the pace of change in opinions and demographics

When Mildred and Richard Loving were married in 1958, only 4% of Americans approved of marriage between Black and white people according to a Gallup poll. By 1968, the year after the Loving decision, 20% approved. By 2013 (the latest update), 87% approved.

In 1955, only 3 years before the Lovings got married, a 14-year-old Black boy named Emmett Till was murdered for allegedly flirting with a white woman in Mississippi. In 2019, a neo-Nazi was convicted of killing a woman in an interracial relationship.

This collection of recent articles and studies can help to frame conversations about interracial marriage, multiracial families, and mixed people. Note that the resources below are focused on the U.S.

Newsweek

“Nearly 20 Percent of Americans Think Interracial Marriage is ‘Morally Wrong,’ Poll Finds” (3/14/18) – Link

Cites a March 10-13, 2018 The Economist/YouGov poll of 1500 adults.

“Seventeen percent of respondents said interracial marriage was ‘morally wrong’ while 83 percent said it was ‘morally acceptable.’”

Gallup

“Gallup Vault: Americans Slow to Back Interracial Marriage” (6/21/17) – Link

“In U.S., 87% Approve of Black-White Marriage, vs. 4% in 1958” (7/25/13) – Link

Bloomberg

“This Is How Fast America Changes Its Mind” (6/26/15) – Link

Vox

“The Kamala Harris identity debate shows how America still struggles to talk about multiracial people” (11/7/20) – Link

“Seventeen percent of respondents said interracial marriage was ‘morally wrong’ while 83 percent said it was ‘morally acceptable.’”

New York Times

“Interracial Romance, With Black Women as the Stars” (5/22/20) – Link

“Mississippi Event Hall Refuses to Host Interracial Wedding, Then Apologizes” (9/3/19) – Link

ABC News

“Hate charge: White man drove car at interracial couple” (4/24/19) – Link

“Neo-Nazi gets life for killing woman in interracial couple” (3/7/19) – Link

Mic

“Old Navy’s ad showing an interracial family drew stomach-churning racist backlash” (12/30/16) – Link

NPR

Code Switch: “That Cute Cheerios Ad With The Interracial Family Is Back” (1/3/14) – Link

Today

“Cheerios ad with mixed-race family draws racist responses” (6/3/13) – Link

CNN

“Louisiana justice who refused interracial marriage resigns” (11/3/09) – Link

Pew Research Center

“As Millennials Near 40, They’re Approaching Family Life Differently Than Previous Generations” (5/27/20) – Link

“Some 13% of Millennial marriages include spouses of differing racial or ethnic backgrounds. This is significantly higher than the share of Gen X marriages…in 2003 (9%)…These shifts can be attributed to the removal of laws criminalizing interracial marriage…including the landmark Loving v. Virginia decision in 1967.”

“Intermarriage in the U.S. 50 Years After Loving v. Virginia: One-in-six newlyweds are married to someone of a different race or ethnicity” (5/18/17) – Link

United States Census Bureau

“Growth in Interracial and Interethnic Married-Couple Households” (7/9/18) – Link

“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.”

Pew Research Center

“The rise of multiracial and multiethnic babies in the U.S.” (6/6/17) – Link

“One-in-seven U.S. infants (14%) were multiracial or multiethnic in 2015, nearly triple the share in 1980, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. This increase comes nearly a half century after the landmark Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia legalized interracial marriage.”

“A new [2017] Pew Research Center survey finds that roughly four-in-ten adults (39%) now say that more people of different races marrying each other is good for society – up significantly from 24% in 2010.”

“Attitudes about interracial marriage vary widely by age.”

“In 2000, 31% of Americans said they would oppose an intermarriage in their family…now one-in-ten Americans say they would oppose a close relative marrying someone of a different race or ethnicity.”

“Multiracial in America: Proud, Diverse and Growing in Numbers” (6/11/15) – Link

“Pew Research estimates that 6.9% of the U.S. adult population could be considered multiracial.”

“The U.S. Census Bureau finds that, in 2013, about 9 million Americans chose two or more racial categories when asked about their race.”

United States Census Bureau

“The Two or More Races Population: 2010” (September 2012) – Link

“Data from the 2010 Census and Census 2000 present information on the population reporting more than one race and enable comparisons of this population from two major data points for the first time in U.S. decennial census history. Overall, the population reporting more than one race grew from about 6.8 million people to 9.0 million people.”

“2010 Census Shows Multiple-Race Population Grew Faster Than Single-Race Population” (9/27/12) – Link

“Overall, the total U.S. population increased by 9.7 percent since 2000, however, many multiple-race groups increased by 50 percent or more.”

Race continues to be the motivation for far more hate crimes than any other category.

FBI

Hate crime statistics: “Bias Motivation Categories for Victims of Single-bias Incidents in 2019” – Link

Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry Bias: 57.6% – nearly 3 times as high as the next largest category (Religion: 20.1%)

Resources

See our Resources page.