Mixed marriages continue rising in Oklahoma

Experts say the state's American Indian population is behind the surge in interracial marriage statistics in Oklahoma.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Published: April 27, 2012

Oklahoma has moved into second place among states with a high percentage of interracial marriages, according to a brief issued this week by U.S. Census Bureau.

Nearly one-fifth of Oklahoma's 723,000 married households and more than a quarter of the state's unmarried households include partners of different racial makeup, according to 2010 census figures.

Nationwide, 10 percent of marriages were considered interracial, marking a 28 percent increase over 2000 census figures.

The U.S. Census Bureau divided the population into seven different racial categories for the report and then tallied the number of households, married and unmarried, that included couples from different racial backgrounds.

In Oklahoma, 17.2 percent of married households include interracial couples, compared to 14.8 percent in 2000.

The new figures push the state just past Alaska for the No. 2 ranking. Both states are home to significantly fewer interracial marriages than Hawaii, where more than a third of all marriages include couples from different racial backgrounds.

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