Interracial romance no longer carries the stigma it once did, and young couples are proof. Fifty-four percent of millennials have dated outside their racial group, and a whopping 88 percent said they were open to doing so.
The findings are part of Fusion’s Massive Millennial Poll, which surveyed 1,000 people aged 18 to 34 about everything from politics to dating to race issues. (For full results and methodology, click here.)
Of course, these figures suggest that many more young people say they are open to coupling up outside their race than are actually doing so—but it’s a start.
Also notable: 83 percent said their parents would support an interracial relationship, and 86 percent said they have close friends of other races.
Latinos were the most open to dating outside their race (92 percent) and more likely to have already been in an interracial relationship (69 percent). White people were the least likely to have dated outside their race—only 45 percent said they had done so, despite the 87 percent who said they were open to it.
Still, the findings reflect serious social progress. Back in 1958, when many Millennials’ parents were kids, a Gallup Poll revealed that only four percent of white Americans approved of interracial marriage. Television’s first scripted interracial kiss didn’t happen until 1968, when William Shatner kissed black actress Nichelle Nichols on Star Trek—and NBC was so worried about the reaction of viewers in the South, they shot alternate scenes without a kiss, just to be safe. Even as recently as the late 1990s, some polls showed only 61 percent of white Americans approved of interracial matrimony.
Fusion’s Massive Millennial Poll surveyed 1,000 people between the ages of 18 to 34, with a general population sample and an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points. The interviews were conducted via telephone from Jan. 6 to Jan. 11. For more on our methodology and poll results, click here.