Study: Nearly half of all Hawaii marriages involve interracial couples

Updated: May. 18, 2017 at 4:12 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Four out of every ten newlyweds in Honolulu are married to someone of a different race or ethnicity, by far the highest percentage of any metropolitan area in the United States, according to new research by the Pew Research Center.

The study, which was based on U.S. Census data covering the four-year span between 2011 and 2015, shines a light on the rapidly increasing national trend of Americans marrying outside their own race.

At the national level, according to Pew, roughly one in every six newlyweds – 17 percent – was involved in an interracial marriage. That number represents a significant increase from the 3 percent figure listed for 1967, when the Supreme Court first ruled that interracial marriages were legal.

Of all the areas considered in the study, Honolulu's 42 percent intermarriage rate is significantly higher than both the national average and the next-highest metropolitan location: the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise region in Nevada, which measured 11 percentage points lower than Honolulu.

In only one other area – Santa Barbara, California – could Pew find an intermarriage rate of more than 30 percent. The next-highest rates were found in Fayetteville, North Carolina (29 percent), Melbourne, Florida (29 percent), and Albuquerque, New Mexico (28 percent).

The lowest rate of intermarriage in the United States was found in Jackson, Mississippi, where just three percent of weddings involved interracial couples.

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