Interracial couples increasingly common, but many aren't marrying, U.S. census data shows

Dylan Stableford
Yahoo News

Interracial couples are increasingly common in America, but many are opting not to get married.

That's according to a new analysis of U.S. census data published by the Los Angeles Times, which found that racially and ethnically mixed couples were more than twice as common in 2012 as they were in 2000.

But there were also more than twice as many unmarried interracial couples living together than married ones. In 2012, 9 percent of unmarried couples living together came from different races, compared with about 4 percent of married couples, according to Census Bureau data.

"The same gap exists for Latinos — who are not counted as a race by the Census Bureau — living with or marrying people who aren't Latino," the newspaper added.

Some researchers say the reason for interracial couples not marrying is disapproving family members.

"You don't need to get a blessing from either side of the family [to live together]," Zhenchao Qian, a sociology professor at Ohio State University, told the Times. "Moving to the next stage is sometimes more difficult."

That's because "many older Americans, especially whites, are still uneasy about interracial marriage."

According to a 2009 study by the Pew Research Center, just half of white respondents aged 50 to 64 said they would be fine with one of their relatives marrying someone of any other race or ethnicity.

Another reason for the parental uneasiness cited by researchers: fear of a loss of culture.















"That seemed to be the more common concern," Damon Brown, an African-American man married to an Indian American woman, told the paper. Their families thought "you can be black, or you can be Hindi," he said.

Whatever the case, it's clear some Americans still are uncomfortable with seeing racially mixed couples.

Earlier this year, a Cheerios commercial featuring an interracial family drew so many prejudiced comments online, General Mills decided to disable commenting on its YouTube account.