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The differing ages of individuals, culminating in the generation divides, have traditionally played a large role in how mixed ethnic couples are perceived in American society.

Of the 3.6 million adults who got married in 2013, 58% of American Indians, 28% of Asians, 19% of blacks and 7% of whites have a spouse whose race was different from their own. Compare that with 1980, when less than 7% of new marriages took place between interracial couples and the share of overall marriages was just 3%. In 1987, Pew found that only 13% of Americans completely agreed that interracial dating was acceptable; that share grew to 56% in 2009. This brings the share of all interracial or interethnic marriages to a historic high of 8.4%, according to Pew Research Center data.The study also observed a clear gender divide in racial preference with regards to marriage: Women of all the races which were studied revealed a strong preference for men of their own race for marriage, with the caveat that East Asian women only discriminated against Black and Hispanic men, and not against White men.Several studies have found that a factor which significantly affects an individual's choices with regards to marriage is socio-economic status ("SES")—the measure of a person's income, education, social class, profession, etc.

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