For whites, men and women are about as likely to marry a Hispanic, but differ in their rates of marriage to blacks and Asians (see Figure 2).In general, marriages between blacks and whites overwhelmingly involve a white wife and a black husband, just as the Dunham/Obama marriage did in 1961.One prime reason is that the population is becoming increasingly diverse—culturally, ethnically, and racially.Americans reaching marriage age over the next two decades are probably the most racially diverse generation ever, and it will be surprising if they do not intermarry more often than previous generations. In addition, more Americans have personal experience with intermarriages involving their families, friends, and work colleagues, which lends a normalcy to these unions.
Asians, on the other hand, make up only about 4 percent of the U. population, which gives them fewer choices among other Asians. Nearly 31 percent of Asians marrying in 2008 had a non-Asian spouse, about the same percentage as in 1980.
Twenty percent of Asian men married a non-Asian in 2008, compared with 40 percent of Asian women.
Likewise, black women are much less likely to intermarry than black men.
More than one-fifth of black men intermarried in 2008, while just 9 percent of black women did.
There has been much speculation about why these gender preferences exist—reasons that delve into racial stereotypes and politics.