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Race, Dating and Marriage

Thursday, July 5, 2001

Results are from a telephone survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,709 adults including an oversample of minority groups conducted by The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University March 8 April 22. The total sample included 779 whites, 323 African Americans, 315 Hispanics and 254 Asians, and the margin of sampling error for each group is plus or minus four, six, seven and nine percentage points respectively. Reported percentages for Hispanics on questions 18 and 20 are from a separate survey of 304 Hispanics conducted June 20 25. Margin of sampling error is plus or minus 7 percentage points. Sampling error is only one of many potential sources of error in this or any other public opinion poll. Fieldwork was conducted by ICR of Media, Pa.

Now I'd like to ask some questions about interracial couples, that is, couples where one person is white, African American, Hispanic American, or Asian American and the other person is a member of a different race or ethnicity?

How much discrimination do you think there is against interracial couples in our society today? Would you say there is a lot of discrimination, some, only a little, or none at all? (IF NECESSARY: We mean society in general)

                                     
          A LOT/SOME   ONLY A LITTLE/NONE   
   
         NET  A lot  Some  NET  Only a little None at all   Don't know 
White    67    22     45    31         26          5          2
Black    77    32     45    19         18          1          4
Hispanic 64    34     31    35         29          6          1
Asian    48    10     38    47         35         11          5

Do you personally have any close friends or family members who are part of an interracial couple or not?

           Yes                 No                Don't know
White       58                 41                    *
Black       72                 28                    1
Hispanic    61                 38                    1
Asian       72                 27                    1

Have you EVER dated someone who was...?

Black or African American (Asked of respondents who are not African American)

            Yes              No                Don't know 
White        17              83                  -
Hispanic     16              84                  -
Asian        18              81                  1

Have you EVER dated someone who was...?

White (Asked of respondents who are not White)

            Yes              No                Don't know 
Black        43              57                  -
Hispanic     44              56                  -
Asian        57              42                  1

Have you EVER dated someone who was...?

Asian (Asked of respondents who are not Asian)

            Yes              No                Don't know 
White        14              86                 *
Black        11              89                 *
Hispanic      9              91                 -

Have you EVER dated someone who was...?

Hispanic (Asked of respondents who are not Hispanic)

            Yes              No                Don't know 
White        28              72                 *
Black        30              70                 -
Asian        34              65                 1 

How do you think you would react if a member of your family told you they were going to MARRY (READ EACH ITEM)? Would it be fine with you, would it bother you, but you would come to accept it, or would you NOT be able to accept it? (Interviewer Note: By family we mean a member of your immediate family, such as a child, brother, or sister)?

An African American (Asked of respondents who are not African American)

                 Would be fine with you  
White                 55
Hispanic              74
Asian                 66
                         
                 Would bother you, but you would come to accept 
White                 35
Hispanic              14
Asian                 23                        
						
						
		  Would NOT be able to accept it    		
						
White                 9
Hispanic              8
Asian                 8     						
						
						
						
						
                   Don't know  
White                 1
Hispanic              4
Asian                 2                         
						 

A Hispanic American (Asked of respondents who are not Hispanic American)

                 Would be fine with you  
White                 66
Black                 85
Asian                 71
                         
                 Would bother you, but you would come to accept 
White                 30
Black                 12
Asian                 21                        
						
						
		  Would NOT be able to accept it    		
						
White                 3
Black                 2
Asian                 6     						
						
						
						
						
                   Don't know  
White                 1
Black                 *
Asian                 2                     

An Asian American (Asked of respondents who are not Asian American)

                 Would be fine with you  
White                 65
Black                 86
Asian                 79
                         
                 Would bother you, but you would come to accept 
White                 29
Black                 13
Asian                 11                        
						
						
		  Would NOT be able to accept it    		
						
White                 4
Black                 1
Asian                 7     						
						
						
						
						
                   Don't know  
White                 1
Black                 *
Asian                 3                     

A White American (Asked of respondents who are not White American)

                 Would be fine with you  
White                 86
Black                 86
Asian                 77
                         
                 Would bother you, but you would come to accept 
White                 12
Black                  9
Asian                 16                        
						
						
		  Would NOT be able to accept it    		
						
White                 2
Black                 4
Asian                 5     						
						
						
						
						
                   Don't know  
White                 *
Black                 2
Asian                 2                     

Considering everything, do you think it's better for people to marry someone of their own race, better to marry someone of a different race, or doesn't it make any difference?

                     Better to marry someone of their own race
   
White                           46
Black                           21              
Hispanic                        29            
Asian                           30             
                      Better to marry someone of another race
       
White                            1
Black                            -            
Hispanic                         1            
Asian                            2            
                            Doesn't Make a Difference
           
White                           53
Black                           77           
Hispanic                        68           
Asian                           67         
                             Don't Know
       
White                            1
Black                            2         
Hispanic                         2          
Asian                            2         

© 2001 The Washington Post Company