Inter-racial relationships have been present as long as different racial groups have existed together in the same land. However a landmark event in the history of modern inter-racial relationships is the US was the Loving vs. Virginia judgment of 1967 when the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision, ruled that all anti-miscegenation laws were unlawful, thus allowing people of different races to marry each other in the United States. since then inter-racial relationships have come a long way and indeed today they form a significant percentage of all marriages in United States for, according to 2008 Pew Research Center Report based on U.S. Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey, a record 14.6% of all new marriages in the United States in 2008 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another.
Black and white relationships
Relationships between African-origin and white partners in the US actually goes back to the history of slavery in the country when white landowners and masters would take black slave women for their sexual partners or mistresses. in modern times, a landmark event for black and white relationships – like all inter-racial relationships – was Loving vs. Virginia judgment in which the Supreme Court set the seal of legal status for a couple where the woman was of Africana and Native American descent while the man was white. According to recent statistics from US Census Burueau1 8.5% of married Black men and 3.9% of married Black women had a White spouse. In 2007, 4.6% of all married Blacks in the United States were wed to a White partner, and 0.4% of all Whites were married to a Black partner2. In recent times this type of inter-racial relationship has been traced to the feeling among single black women that there are fewer dating options from their own African-origin male community. Among the conventional reasons put forward are that a large percentage of adult black male population in prisons as well as lower educational and professional qualification of black men as compared to white or Asian-origin men. Then again a recent news report in the New York Times titled, ‘Black Women See Fewer Black Men at the Altar’ traces the limited availability of single and eligible black men to an increasing number of them marrying women of other races. The report mentions the results of a study according to which around 22% of black male singles - that is at least one in five – who married in 2008, chose female partners from among whites, Asians or Hispanics. This represents a significant increase from previous rates like 15.7% in 2000 and 7.9% in 1980. Not only that, the rate of black men marrying outside their race is also higher than the 9% rate of black American women who were marrying non-black men. Sociologists believe that the trend of black men marrying from outside their race further shrinks an already limited pool of potential partner for single black women seeking marriage within their own race.
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Black and Asian relationships
Among the inter-racial relationships in the US, those between partners of African and Asian origin seem to be the least popular. According to the Table FG4 of 2010 US Census, of all Asian American/Black marriages only 19% involved an Asian American male and a Black female. Also only 0.2% of married Black women were married to Asian American men, representing the least prevalent marital combination in the US.
White and Asian relationships
The first wave of White and Asian-origin marriages in the US was the consequence of US service personnel returning from the war after the Second World War with Asian brides; later the Korean and Vietnam War led to the arrival of war brides from the East. However the most important aspect of the increasing trend of Asian-White marriages is that Asian women are more likely to settle for Caucasian husbands than Asian men are likely to marry White women. In 1990, about 69 percent of married Asian American women aged between 18 and 30 were wed to Asian American men, while 25 percent had White husbands3. However in 2006, 41 percent of Asian American-born women were registered as having White husbands, while 50 percent were married to Asian American men4. Also a research conducted by the Columbia Business School for two years from 2005-2007 found that Asian women and White men constituted the prevalent form of inter-racial dating in the United States5.
White and Hispanic relationships
Since Hispanic is an ethnicity and not specifically a race, statistics on Hispanic-other race pairings are slightly more difficult to glean from Census figures. According to numbers gathered by 2008 Pew Research Center Report from U.S. Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey6, among all newlyweds in 2008, a vast majority of inter-racial marriages that is 41% were between Whites and Hispanics. This is in contrast to other inter-racial pairings like White-Asian which was 15%, White-Black which was11%, and Other Combinations which covered 33% of inter-racial marriages.
Native Americans and other races
There is not much data on couples where one partner is of Native American descent and the other is white. According to the 1990 US Census - which takes into account indigenous people with US-government-recognized tribal affiliation - Native American women intermarried European American men 2% more than Native American men married European American women7. This shows that Native-American/white pairings in the US are far less common that the same kind of pairings in Latin American countries.
Native American and Asian marriages
In the US, there is a localized but strong tradition of marriage between partners of Native Americans and Filipino descent, especially in Alaska. This owes to certain historical causes - In the 17th century, Spanish colonizers ensured a thriving trade between Philippines and the Americas. When the Mexicans revolted against the Spanish, the Filipino men first escaped into Mexico, then traveled to Louisiana, where they settled down with Native American women. In the 1920s, Filipino American communities of workers also grew in Alaska where Filipino American men married Alaskan Native women. Bainbridge Island, Washington, is another place where Filipino Americans married Native American women.
Though the above statistics relate to marriages and not specifically romantic relationships, they can be used as useful pointers to trends in inter-racial dating in the United States.
United States Census Bureau - America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2010
Fryer, Jr., Roland G. (Spring 2007). "Guess Who’s Been Coming to Dinner? Trends in Interracial Marriage over the 20th Century". Journal of Economic Perspectives 21 (2): 71–90. doi:10.1257/jep.21.2.71.
Swanbrow, Diane (2000-03-23). "Intimate Relationships Between Races More Common Than Thought", University of Michigan.
America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2006
Slate - An Economist Goes to a Bar - And solves the mysteries of dating.
PewResearchcenter- Marrying Out One-in-Seven New U.S. Marriages is Interracial or Interethnic [PDF]
United States Census Bureau - Race of Wife by Race of Husband: 1960, 1970, 1980, 1991, and 1992