According to a Gallup poll released today, 86 percent of Americans approve of interracial marriages. The record-high number shows a sizable change in opinion on the issue over the last half-century. This shift is “more the result of changing attitudes within the population,” Gallup reports, rather than a result of younger, more permissive Americans replacing the elderly.
In addition to differences in opinion among different age groups, 96 percent of blacks overwhelmingly support interracial marriage, compared with 86 percent of whites. The college-educated population also tends to be more approving.
Gallup has been tracking the issue since 1958 when only 4 percent of Americans approved of interracial marriage, and the long-term data shows a sharp change in public opinion.
Americans 50 and older are nearly three times more likely to approve than the previous generation, although 34 percent of the 65-and-up demographic still remains opposed to the practice.
Other generations show similarly drastic upticks since 1991, including among 18- to 29-year-olds (33 percent) and 30- to 49-year-olds (35 percent).