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“Part of it is about numbers,” says Pew senior researcher Gretchen Livingston, a co-author of the report.

“The pool of potential spouses in urban areas in the U. tends to be a bit more diverse in terms of race and ethnicity than the pool in rural areas, so that fact in and of itself can increase the likelihood of intermarriage.” Livingston cites the example of Honolulu, where 42 percent of newlyweds are intermarried and the population is 42 percent Asian, 20 percent white, and 9 percent Hispanic.

“If you look at the breakdown of the marriage market there, it really is such a mix, with no racial or ethnic group counts for more than half of the pool,” she says.

Las Vegas and Santa Barbara follow a similar pattern.

Only 24 percent of people living in rural areas agreed with that statement.

Differences in racial composition of metropolitan and non-metropolitan populations may also account for some of the gap: 83 percent of newlyweds in non-metro areas are white, compared to 62 percent in metro areas.

Hispanics and Asians, on the other hand, make up 26 percent of newlyweds in metro areas and only 10 percent in non-metro areas—and they’re much more likely than white people to marry outside their ethnic groups.

Overall, there has been a dramatic increase in interracial marriage.

In 2015, 10 percent of all married Americans were married to someone of a different race or ethnicity. Seventeen percent of all weddings performed in 2015 were interracial, up from 7 percent in 1980. In 2015, 18 percent of new marriages in metropolitan areas were interracial, compared with 11 percent of newlyweds outside of metropolitan areas.

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