CHICAGO — Some 19 percent of marriages over a recent five-year period in the Chicago area were between people of different races or ethnicities, a new report says.
In the metro area, 24 percent of Hispanics, 35 percent of Asians, 14 percent of whites and 13 percent of African Americans married between 2011 and 2015 were involved in intermarriage, according to the Pew Research Center.
The national snapshot of Census data showed that in the U.S., 17 percent of newlyweds had a spouse of a different race, a fivefold increase since 1967, when 3 percent of newlyweds were intermarried, the report said.
Nationally, about 10 percent of all couples intermarried, the study said.
"The growth in intermarriage has coincided with shifting societal norms as Americans have become more accepting of marriages involving spouses of different races and ethnicities, even within their own families," Pew said.
A February poll by Pew found that 39 percent of respondents say marrying someone of a different race is good for society.
The most common pairing in the U.S. is Hispanics and whites. Intermarriages are more common in metro areas than non-metro areas.
Fifty years ago, Richard and Mildred Loving's 1967 Supreme Court case ended state laws against such interracial marriage.
A Chicago Public Library blog exploring the history of marriage here cites an 1829 Illinois law that stated: “No person of color, negro or mulatto shall marry any white person." Those laws were repealed in 1874 even as interracial marriage continued to be prohibited in much of the rest of the country until the Loving v. Virginia decision.
In "Black Chicago's First Century," author Christopher Robert Reed quotes an African-American's assessment of Chicago circa 1887, describing how many blacks lived in and around the Loop. "There were some colored men that had white wives, and they lived good and were respectable," the man said.