U.S. interracial relationships more common

November 2, 2005

A Cornell University study released Wednesday suggests interracial relationships and marriages are becoming more common in the United States.

Researchers say the number of interracial marriages involving whites, blacks and Hispanics each year in the United States has increased 10-fold since the 1960s -- but the older someone is, the less likely he or she is to partner with someone of a different race.

"We think that's because relationships are more likely to be interracial the more recently they were formed, so younger people are more likely to have interracial relationships," said Kara Joyner, an assistant professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell and co-author of the study. "This trend reflects the increasing acceptance of interracial relationships in today's society."

Although more young adults are dating and cohabiting with someone of a different race, the study found interracial relationships are considerably less likely than same-race relationships to lead to marriage.

The study was supported, in part, by grants from McGill University, Cornell, the University of Pennsylvania and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

The research appeared in a recent issue of the American Sociological Review.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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