Marriages between blacks and whites are on the rise in the United States, signaling that racial barriers in the nation are slowly but surely coming down.
USA Today reports that a study out of Ohio State University found that 10.7% of blacks married whites in 2008, compared to just 3% in 1980.
“It does suggest that the social distance between the two groups has narrowed," said sociology professor and lead author Zhenchao Qian, "The racial boundary is blurred, but it is still there."
The study found that the higher the level of education, the more likely that a black person will marry a white person. That’s because they have a greater chance of interacting with whites in school, at work and where they live. Qian said that has been true of other minorities groups for some time now, but it is relatively new for blacks.
But all of this doesn’t mean we should stop working on race relations.
"This doesn't imply that we've moved into a post-racial society," said study co-author Daniel Lichter of the Cornell Population Center. "Even though there's been a rapid increase, it's still very low."
Indeed, 34% of Asians married whites, as did 28% of Latinos.
The study found that black men are much more likely to marry white women, as opposed to black women marrying white men.
"That's the least likely combination," Lichter said.
The study is published in the October edition of the Journal of Marriage and Family.