Are Interracial Relationships Successful?
Interracial relationships are here to stay
Interracial marriages have been steadily climbing since Loving v. Virginia, the landmark civil rights decision in which the Supreme Court ruled that laws banning interracial marriages are unconstitutional.
At the time, only 3% of new marriages involved partners of different racial backgrounds. Today, according to the PEW Research Center nearly 20% of all new marriages are interracial.
Public approval - not that it’s needed - is also up. A Gallup poll in 2021 showed that 94% of people approve of marriages between white and Black people.
Seems like interracial relationships are here to stay. But do they last?
Divorce and interracial couples
The divorce rate in the U.S. is high; about half of all marriages will eventually end in divorce.
Several studies using government data show that when it comes to interracial marriages the divorce rate is higher. There is some nuance here; it looks a little different depending on the racial identities of each partner.
Regardless, overall, research is showing that at the 10 year mark about 41% of interracial married couples divorce, as compared to 31% of married couples who share the same race.
Building a successful interracial relationship
Don’t despair. This data doesn’t mean that interracial couples are inherently less compatible or successful.
But it does highlight that interracial couples face unique challenges and can benefit from specialized support.
Check out some of my previous blog posts where I cover how differences in identity influence our relationships and how couples can navigate conversations about identity, privilege, power, and oppression.
If you find that you and your partner struggle through these conversations or keep finding yourselves in the same conflict cycles couples therapy can help. Schedule a complimentary consultation today to get started.
Divorce statistics and facts: What affects divorce rates in the U.S.? Wilkinson & Finkbeiner, LLP. (2022, March 3). Retrieved April 1, 2023, from https://www.wf-lawyers.com/divorce-statistics-and-facts/
Livingston, G. and Brown, A. (2017, May 18). 1. trends and patterns in intermarriage. Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project. Retrieved April 1, 2023, from https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2017/05/18/1-trends-and-patterns-in-intermarriage/
McCarthy, J. (2022, February 21). U.S. approval of interracial marriage at new high of 94%. Gallup.com. Retrieved April 1, 2023, from https://news.gallup.com/poll/354638/approval-interracial-marriage-new-high.aspx
Pew Research Center. (2019, December 31). Chapter 1: Overview. Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project. Retrieved April 1, 2023, from https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2012/02/16/chapter-1-overview/#:~:text=An%20analysis%20conducted%20a%20decade,of%20Family%20Growth%20(NSFG).
Photo by MC Production: https://www.pexels.com/photo/portrait-of-smiling-interracial-couple-posing-on-grey-background-16032141/