Mixed marriages have hit a record high of 14.6 percent among Americans (2008). A report about the statistics describes the increasing trend of Americans marrying someone of a different race or from a different ethnic group.
The rate of mixed marriages was six times higher than in 1960 and double the rate in 1980, according to the Pew Research Center report.
AdvertisementThe dramatic increase was driven "in part by the weakening of longstanding cultural taboos against intermarriage and in part by a large, multi-decade wave of immigrants from Latin America and Asia," said the report.
The most common pairing was white and Hispanic couples, who made up more than four in 10 of the 280,000 mixed marriages in 2008.
Whites who married Asians made up 15 percent of mixed marriages that year and blacks who married whites made up 11 percent.
In 1961, the year President Barack Obama's black father married his white mother, less than one in 1,000 new marriages in the United States was the pairing of a black person and a white person, according to the report based on Census Bureau data.
By 1980, around one in 150 new marriages were between a black person and a white person and by 2008, the ratio had risen to one in 60.
Mixed race marriages were illegal in most states until the middle of last century.
Fifteen states kept laws against mixed race marriage on the books until 1967, when a US Supreme Court decision -- Loving v. Virginia -- declared the so-called anti-miscegenation laws illegal.