Justin McCarthy, Gallup, September 10, 2021
Ninety-four percent of U.S. adults now approve of marriages between Black people and White people, up from 87% in the prior reading from 2013. The current figure marks a new high in Gallup’s trend, which spans more than six decades. Just 4% approved when Gallup first asked the question in 1958.
The latest figure is from a Gallup poll conducted July 6-21. Shifts in the 63-year-old trend represent one of the largest transformations in public opinion in Gallup’s history — beginning at a time when interracial marriage was nearly universally opposed and continuing to its nearly universal approval today.
The U.S. Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage nationwide in the 1967 Loving v. Virginia case. A year after that decision, Gallup found support for the practice increasing, but still only a small minority of 20% approved.
Approval of interracial marriage continued to grow in the U.S. in periodic readings Gallup took over the following decades, finally reaching majority level in 1997, when support jumped from 48% to 64%. Support has increased in subsequent measures, surpassing 70% in 2003, 80% in 2011 and 90% in the current reading.
Non-White Americans have been consistently more approving of interracial marriages than White Americans — but that gap has narrowed over time and, in the latest reading, has nearly closed.
Previous measures from 1968 to 2013 found double-digit gaps in approval between White and Non-White adults. Today, the three percentage points that separate approval among White (93%) and Non-White adults (96%) is within the poll’s margin of error.
Recent growth at the national level has been driven by increasing approval among White Americans, as approval among Non-White Americans has been unchanged over the past decade.
Majorities of non-White adults since 1968 have approved of interracial marriage. It was not until 1997 that a majority of White adults held that opinion.