What the report doesn’t say is if the number of black women marrying men of other races is increasing, of by how much. At this rate in 20 years or so, the concept of a “black” community in the United States will disappear outside of the “encapsulated” urban communities. Indeed, “blackness” is slowly migrating from a racial definition to an “ethnic” definition.
I would like to see statistics on the education and socio-economic level of black folks who are marrying outside of their own racial group. What I would bet is this is dominated by a high percentage of working class blue collar and educated, professionals.
A new study shows that more and more black men are marrying women of other races. In fact, more than 1 in 5 black men who wed (22 percent) married a nonblack woman in 2008. This compares with about 9 percent of black women, and represents a significant increase for black men — from 15.7 percent in 2000 and 7.9 percent in 1980.
Sociologists said the rate of black men marrying women of other races further reduces the already-shrunken pool of potential partners for black women seeking a black husband.
“When you add in the prison population,” said Prof. Steven Ruggles, director of the Minnesota Population Center, “it pretty well explains the extraordinarily low marriage rates of black women.”
Among all married African-Americans in 2008, 13 percent of men and 6 percent of women had a nonblack spouse. This compares with nearly half of American-born Asians choosing non-Asian spouses.
“The continuing imbalance in the rates for black men and black women could be making it even harder for black women to find a husband,” said Prof. Andrew J. Cherlin, director of the population center at Johns Hopkins University.
The study, to be released Friday by the Pew Research Center, found that intermarriage among Asian, black, Hispanic and white people now accounts for a record 1 in 6 new marriages in the United States. Tellingly, blacks and whites remain the least-common variety of interracial pairing. Still, black-white unions make up 1 in 60 new marriages today, compared with fewer than 1 in 1,000 back when Barack Obama’s parents wed a half-century ago.
While the increased rate of intermarriage reflects demographic changes in the American population — a more diverse pool of available spouses — as well as changing social mores, they may presage a redefinition of America’s evolving concepts of race and ethnicity.
“The lines dividing these groups are getting blurrier and blurrier,” said Jeffrey S. Passel, an author of the Pew analysis.
For instance, of the 2.7 million American children with a black parent, about 10 percent also have one nonblack parent today. Because many mixed-race African- Americans still choose to identify as being black — as Mr. Obama did when he filled out the 2010 census — the number of multiracial African-Americans could actually be higher…
The Pew analysis found that among newly married couples, 14.6 percent were mixed in 2008, compared with 11.2 percent in 2000 and 8.3 percent in 1990. (Among all people currently married, 8 percent of marriages were mixed in 2008, compared with 6.8 percent in 2000 and 4.5 percent in 1990.)
Of all 3.8 million adults who married in 2008, 31 percent of Asians, 26 percent of Hispanic people, 16 percent of blacks and 9 percent of whites married a person whose race or ethnicity was different from their own. Those were all record highs.