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The gap between Millennials and other age groups is evident for all of the individual groups asked about, though the size of the gap does vary as Americans ages 50 to 64 and 65 and older are less likely to accept marriages to members of some groups (in particular, African Americans) than others (in particular, white Americans).Other demographic characteristics also are correlated with attitudes towards interracial marriage.Over the last several decades, the American public has grown increasingly accepting of interracial dating and marriage.This shift in opinion has been driven both by attitude change among individuals generally and by the fact that over the period, successive generations have reached adulthood with more racially liberal views than earlier generations.The percentage of white Millennials saying they have black friends (56%) is about the same as the percentage of black Millennials who say they have white friends (55%).There is little difference on this question between Millennials and Americans ages 30 to 49.When the first Generation Xers began to be tracked in the late 1980s, about two-thirds of this generation (those born between 19) agreed that it was “all right for blacks and whites to date each other.” By the time all members of that generation had reached age 18, fully 85% agreed with the statement — about the same proportion as does so today (86%).The opinions of Baby Boomers (those born between 19) became more accepting of black-white dating in the early 1990s and have steadily become more so; in recent years, Boomers have become almost as accepting of interracial dating as Gen Xers.
Interracial relationships can also be affected by immigrations problems, passport and citizen issues if they are residing abroad with their partner However, interracial marriages are not always intercultural marriages, as in some countries, such as the United States, people of different races can share the same cultural background and society. Specific issues regarding the family; including generational gaps in ideology, and how the wedding will be held; which ties into how tradition will or will not be practiced.
There are no statistically significant differences between older and younger blacks in reports of cross-racial friendships.
For more on the American public’s attitudes about race, including more detailed analysis of attitudes towards interracial marriage, see A Year After Obama’s Election Blacks Upbeat about Black Progress, Prospects.
The oldest generation currently being tracked, the “Silent” generation (those born between 19), has steadily become more racially liberal over time, though they remain significantly less likely to approve of interracial dating than are those in younger generations (68% in 2009).
In addition to their racially liberal views on marriage and dating, a majority of Millennials (54%) in Pew Research’s report on race say at least some of their friends are of a different race.
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But Americans ages 50 and older are considerably less likely to have cross-racial friendships, and this difference is largely the result of fewer older whites having black friends.