Marriage looks a lot different today in many ways than in years past. As our nation becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, so are married couples.

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.

 

There are seven types of interracial/interethnic married-couple combinations that make up 95.1 percent of all such married couples. The largest of these is non-Hispanic whites married to Hispanics, which increased in 43.2 percent of counties. In contrast, just 3.0 percent of counties showed an increase in the percentage of married-couple households that were non-Hispanic whites married to non-Hispanic American Indians or Alaska Natives.


Where the Growth Happened
All states experienced an increase in the percentage of interracial and interethnic married-couple households from 2000 to 2012-2016.

Two states, Hawaii and Oklahoma, and the District of Columbia increased by 4.34 percentage points or more.
Nine states, located mostly in the West and the Mid-Atlantic region, increased by 3.34 to 4.33 percentage points.
Seventeen states increased by 2.40 to 3.33 percentage points.
The remaining 22 states increased by less than 2.40 percentage points.
While the percentage of married-couple households that are interracial/interethnic increased overall, this varied by county.


There are county-level maps for specific interracial/interethnic married-couple combinations, such as couples in which one spouse is non-Hispanic white alone and one spouse is Hispanic.

 

Brittany Rico, Rose M. Kreider and Lydia Anderson are family demographers in the Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics Branch.