Race, Dating and Marriage
Thursday, July 5, 2001
This study was conducted by telephone March 29 - May 20, 2001 among a nationally representative sample of 540 adults 18 years of age or older who are married to, or living with, a partner of a different race. Respondents were included if they said they were part of a biracial couple, and one partner's race/ethnicity was White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, or American Indian and the other partner's race/ethnicity was different. While Hispanics are considered an ethnic group and not a race by the United States Census, respondents in Hispanic/non-Hispanic pairs were included in the sample if they thought of themselves as part of a biracial couple. Results were weighted to reflect the distribution of biracial couples in the nation. The margin of error for overall results is plus or minus six percentage points. In addition to sampling error there are other possible sources of measurement error in this or any other public opinion poll. Fieldwork was conducted by ICR/International Communications Research of Media, PA
Just to verify, are you currently married or living with a partner?
Married Living with a partner Something else Don't Know 5/20/01 80 20 - -
Partner Profile: Total Couple
White Respondent Minority Respondent White Partner 85 Black Partner 12 5 Hispanic Partner 55 4 Asian Partner 20 3 Native American Partner 10 1 Other Partner 3 1
5/20/01 % 5/20/01 % White/Black 11 Black/Other * White/Hispanic 51 Hispanic/Asian 1 White/Asian 19 Hispanic/Native American 1 White/Native American 9 Hispanic/Other * White/Other 2 Asian/Native American - Black/Hispanic 3 Asian/Other * Black/Asian 2 Native American/Other * Black/Native American *
Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
EXCELLENT/GOOD NOT SO GOOD/POOR NET Excellent Good NET Not so good Poor Don't know 5/20/01 55 3 52 45 36 8 *
Would you describe the state of your own personal finances these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
EXCELLENT/GOOD NOT SO GOOD/POOR NET Excellent Good NET Not so good Poor Don't know 5/20/01 77 8 69 23 18 5 1
When they grow up, do you expect your children or children from families like yours to enjoy a higher or lower standard of living than your generation, or do you think it will be about the same?
Higher Lower About the same Don't know 5/20/01 52 7 41 1
Now I'd like to ask you some questions about racial and ethnic groups in the United States…
Do you feel that (READ ITEMS) have more, less, or about the same opportunities in life as whites have?
5/20/01 More opportunity Less opportunity About the same Don't know a. African Americans 6 42 51 * b. Hispanic Americans 7 46 46 * c. Asian Americans 13 21 64 2
Is there too much, too little, or about the right amount of attention paid to race and racial issues these days?
5/20/01 Too much Too little About the right amount Don't know 48 32 19 1
Which of the following comes closer to your opinion?
5/20/01 We have overcome major There are still major Don't problems facing problems facing racial know racial minorities minorities 22 77 1
During the last ten years, do you think tensions between racial and ethnic groups in this country have increased, decreased, or stayed about the same?
Increased Decreased Stayed about the same Don't know 5/20/01 28 28 43 *
Considering everything, would you say marrying someone of a different race makes marriage easier or harder, or doesn't it make a difference either way? (GET ANSWER THEN READ: Does it make marriage much easier/harder, or just a little easier/harder?)
-----EASIER------ -----HARDER-------- NET Much Just NET Just Much Doesn't make Don't know a little a little harder a difference 5/20/01 2 1 1 32 24 8 66 *
Compared to couples where both people are of the same race, please tell me whether being part of a biracial couple makes it easier or harder for you to do the following things. First, (INSERT ITEM), is this: much easier, somewhat easier, somewhat harder, much harder, or doesn't it make a difference. How about (INSERT NEXT ITEM)? If necessary, "I'm asking whether this is easier or harder for you, compared to couples where both people are of the same racial background.")
-----EASIER------ ------HARDER-------- NET Much Somewhat NET Somewhat Much Doesn't make Don't a difference know a. Finding a neighborhood in which to live 7 4 4 17 11 6 75 1 c. Talking about racial issues with your spouse 25 14 11 13 12 1 61 1 d. Dealing with your in-laws 11 7 3 23 16 7 66 1 e. Dealing with your own relatives 7 5 2 22 17 5 70 * f. Understanding the viewpoint of people of other races 42 21 21 15 13 2 43 -
Is there anyone in your family or your (spouse's/partner's) family that has PERMANENTLY stopped speaking to either of you because you (married/are involved with) someone of a different race?
Yes No Don't know 5/20/01 5 95 -
Thinking back to when you were first dating, did (READ FIRST ITEM) have a problem when they learned the two of you were seriously involved with someone of a different race?
Yes No Don't know A. Either of your parents or your 28 72 - spouse/partner's parents B. Anyone else in either of your families, besides your parents 20 80 1
(Asked of respondents whose parents or spouse/partners parents had a problem with them dating someone of a different race)
Would that have been your parents, or your spouse/partner's parents?
---EITHER PARENTS HAD A PROBLEM--- NET Respondents Spouse/ Both Neither your parents Don't parents partners /spouse parents Know parents had a problem 5/20/01 28 11 10 7 72 -
And what about now, do any of your parents still have a problem with your relationship, or not?---EITHER PARENTS HAD A PROBLEM--- NET Yes, still No, do not still Neither your parents/ Don't have a problem have a problem spouse parents had a know problem 5/20/01 28 4 24 72 -
And have they permanently stopped speaking to either of you because of this, or not?
---------EITHER'S PARENTS HAD A PROBLEM--- -------------STILL HAVE A PROBLEM----- NET NET Stopped Did not stop No, do not Neither your Don't speaking speaking still have parents/spouse know a problem parents had a 5/20/01 a problem 28 4 1 3 24 72 -
And what about now, aside from your parents, does anyone else in either of your families still have a problem with your relationship, or not?
---Anyone Else In Families Other Than Parents Had Problems--- NET Yes, still have No, do not still No one else Don't a problem have problem other than know your parents had a problem 5/20/01 20 5 15 80 1
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? We mean society in general
A lot of discrimination Some Only a little None at all Don't know 5/20/01 18 56 20 5 *
In your day-to-day life, how often do any of the following things happen to you because you are part of a biracial couple? First, (READ FIRST ITEM). Would you say very often, fairly often, once in a while, or never? How about (READ NEXT ITEM).
----------OFTEN-------- --ONCE IN A WHILE/NEVER-- NET Very Fairly NET Once in a while Never Don't know You receive poorer service than other people at restaurants or stores 6 3 4 94 26 68 - c. People stare at you or point you out in public 11 6 5 89 26 63 * d. People call you names or make insulting comments 4 1 2 96 17 80 *
Have you ever been physically threatened or attacked because you are part of a biracial couple?
Yes No Don't know 5/20/01 4 96 -Summary
------------------MENTIONED BAD TREATMENT-------------- NET Poorer People stare People call Ever been Did not Don't service at you you names threatened mention Know bad treatment 5/20/01 52 32 37 20 4 48 -
(Asked of respondents who mentioned receiving bad treatment in their day-to-day life)
Does most of the bad treatment you mentioned come from one racial group in particular? (INTERVIEWER NOTE: I'm talking about what you mentioned in the previous questions that asked about receiving poorer service, people staring at you, people calling you names, or people threatening you. Is the bad treatment mostly from whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, or some other groups?)
Which group is that?
---------MENTIONED BAD TREATMENT---------- ---------From a particular race-------- NET NET White Black Hispanic Asian Native Not from one Did not American particular mentionbad 5/20/01 race treatment 52 27 21 2 4 * - 26 48 Don't Know: -
(Asked of respondents who mentioned receiving bad treatment from one racial group in particular in their day-to-day life and who specified what race)
And does it mainly come from (INSERT RACE CHOSEN IN 14A) men, (INSERT RACE CHOSEN IN 14A) women, or from both equally?
Men Women Both equally Don't know 5/20/01 32 13 55 -Combination Table
5/20/01 % Mentioned bad treatment (NET) 52 Yes, from a particular race 27 White 21 Male 6 Female 2 Both 13 Black 2 Male * Female 1 Both 1 Hispanic 4 Male 2 Female 1 Both 1 Asian * Male * Female - Both - Native American - Male - Female - Both - No, not from one race in particular 26 Did not mention bad treatment 48 Don't know -
As a biracial couple, do you avoid certain situations, places, or events because they might make you uncomfortable? (IF YES ASK: Would that be often or sometimes?)
Yes, often Yes, sometimes No Don't know 5/20/01 2 13 85 *
Have you and your current partner had any children together?
Yes No Don't know 5/20/01 62 38 -
(Asked of respondents who have children in their current relationship)
In general, do you think having parents of different races is mainly an advantage or a disadvantage for your children, or don't you think it makes much difference?
Advantage Disadvantage Don't think Don't know it makes much difference 5/20/01 44 6 50 *
Do you think the children of biracial couples face more problems or fewer problems growing up than other children, or isn't there much difference? (IF MORE/FEWER ASK: Is that a lot more/fewer or somewhat more/fewer?)
--------MORE------ ---------FEWER----- NET A lot Somewhat NET Somewhat A lot Isn't much Depends on difference their race 5/20/01 37 7 30 4 3 2 55 3 Don't Know: 1
(Asked of respondents who have children in their current relationship)
How often have your children (READ FIRST ITEM) because of their multiracial background: Very often, fairly often, once in a while, or never? How about (READ NEXT ITEM)?
-----OFTEN---- -ONCE IN A WHILE/NEVER NET Very Fairly NET Once in a while Never Child too young a. Been called names, teased or insulted 2 1 1 91 21 70 6 Don't know: * b. Been threatened or physically harassed 2 1 1 91 7 84 6 Don't know: *
As a couple, would you say MOST of your mutual friends are the same race? For example, are most of your friends white, black, etc.?
Which is that?
----MUTUAL FRIENDS ARE OF THE SAME RACE--- NET White Black Hispanic Asian Native Mutual friends American are not of the same race 5/20/01 21 18 2 1 * - 78 Don't know: *
(Asked of respondents who have children in their current relationship)
------------Child's Friends Are Of The Same Race------------- NET White Black Hispanic Asian Native American 5/20/01 23 20 1 1 * * Child's friends are not of the same race: 75 Don't know: 2
Generally speaking, how comfortable are you talking to coworkers about the fact that your spouse/partner is of a different racial background than you are? Very comfortable, fairly comfortable, not too comfortable, not comfortable at all?
---COMFORTABLE---- ------NOT COMFORTABLE--- NET Very Fairly NET Not too Not at all Not employed Don't know 5/20/01 95 84 11 3 1 2 2 -
Do you live in a racially integrated neighborhood, or are almost all of the families in your neighborhood of the same race?
Racially integrated Almost all of the families Don't know neighborhood in your neighborhood of the same race 5/20/01 63 37 -
(Asked of respondents who live in a neighborhood where almost all of the families are
of the same race)
-----------ALMOST ALL FAMILIES OF SAME RACE---- Neighborhood NET White Black Hispanic Asian Native Other Don't racially American know integrated 5/20/01 63 37 33 2 2 * - * -DEMOGRAPHICS
We now have just a few more questions to help classify your answers.
In politics today, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, or something else?
Republican Democrat Independent Something else Nothing Don't Know 5/20/01 27 42 18 11 - 1
Do you consider yourself closer to the Republican Party or the Democratic Party?
Republican Party Democratic Party Don't know 5/20/01 30 47 22
Leaned Party Table
Republican Democrat Independent Something else Nothing Don't Know 5/20/01 32 50 5 11 - 1
Would you say your views in most political matters are liberal, moderate, conservative, something else, or haven't you given this much thought?
Liberal Moderate Conservative Something Haven't give Don't else this much thought Know 5/20/01 26 17 26 2 28 *
Which of the following best describes your marriage or current relationship? It's perfect and couldn't be improved, it's nearly perfect, a few small improvements are needed, it's generally good, but there are some problems, or it's not so good, we've got serious problems?
-------Perfect/Nearly Perfect----- NET Perfect and couldn't A few small be improved improvements are needed 5/20/01 63 17 46 -----Some Problems/Serious Problems---- NET Generally good, but Not so good, we've got there are some problems serious problems 37 35 2 Don't know: -
And about how many years have you been (married/In your current relationship)?
0-5 years 6-10 years 10-15 years 15 years or more Don't know 5/20/01 34 20 16 30 -
Are you or is anyone in your household currently in military service, a military veteran, or a reservist?
Yes No Don't know 5/20/01 32 68 -
What is your religious preference? Are you Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, some other religion, or no religion?
Protestant Roman Jewish Some other No religion Don't Catholic religion Know 5/20/01 33 33 1 19 14 *
Do you consider yourself a Christian?
Yes No Don't know 5/20/01 74 25 1
--PROTESTANT/CHRISTIAN- NET Protestant Other Roman Jewish Some other No Don't Christian Catholic religion religion Know 5/20/01 47 33 14 33 1 5 14 *
Would you consider yourself as a born-again or evangelical Christian, or not?
Yes No Don't know 5/20/01 51 48 2
Born again Protestants/ Protestant Roman Jewish Some other religion/ not born again Catholic Christian 5/20/01 24 16 33 1 Some other/not Christian Other Christian/ No religion Don't Know not born again 5 7 14 *
What is the last grade or class that you completed in school?
5/20/01 % High school graduate or less (NET) 44 Less than high school graduate (SUBNET) 12 None, or grade 1-8 1 High school incomplete 11 High school graduate + (SUBNET) 32 High school graduate 30 Business, technical/vocational school 2 Some college or more (NET) 56 Some college, no 4 year degree 30 College graduate + (SUBNET) 26 College graduate 18 Post-graduate training 9 Don't Know -
What is your age?
18-29 30-49 50-64 65+ 5/20/01 22 57 16 5
Is your total annual household income from all sources and before taxes:
5/20/01 % Less than $40K (NET) 34 Less than $15K 4 $15K but less than $20K 4 $20K but less than $25K 5 $25K but less than $30K 8 $30K but less than $35K 7 $35K but less than $40K 5 Less than $40K (unspecified) 1 $40K+ (NET) 66 $40K but less than $50K 18 $50K but less than $75K 26 $75K but less than $100K 11 $100K+ 9 $40K+ (unspecified) 1 Don't Know *
RECORD GENDER FROM OBSERVATION
Male Female 5/20/01 50 50
Northeast North central South West 5/20/01 12 16 31 41
Urban Suburban Rural 5/20/01 62 22 16