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Since just 1980, the share of marriages between spouses of different races has almost quadrupled, up to 6%, a new Pew Research study on multiracial Americans has found.
At the same time, though, a large share of mixed-race babies (43%) are not living with a married parent, suggesting that it’s probably not just interracial marriage, but interracial dating in general that is driving the demographic change.
They often interact with others on either side of the racial divide and frequently serve as brokers between friends and family members of different racial backgrounds," he said.
"But America still has a long way to go." The figures come from previous censuses as well as the 2008-2010 American Community Survey, which surveys 3 million households annually.
The racial background of the largest group of multiracial babies (36%) is black and white, but just 18% of mixed-race adults claim this background, according to Census Bureau data.
And while almost a quarter of mixed-race babies are white and Asian, this share is just 18% for adults.
Not only does the face of multiracial America appear to be transforming across generations, but the prevalence of mixed-race Americans is changing as well.
"The rise in interracial marriage indicates that race relations have improved over the past quarter century," said Daniel Lichter, a sociology professor at Cornell University.
"Mixed-race children have blurred America's color line.