There are places in Virginia that are still very Southern," he said. "But it's progress, and that's definitely something I can see. They got along well, married and have a 16-year-old daughter.Henry was surprised that Virginia ranked the highest in black-white unions."The Southern aspect.By comparison, smaller shares in the West (4%) and the Northeast (5%) say that more interracial marriage is a bad thing for society.When Andrew Bernard started chatting with Alissa Landry at the Bayside rec center where she worked, he didn't notice her darker skin. Landry didn't see a white dude who stopped to see her whenever he came in to work out. She gave him her phone number and asked him to hang out with her and some friends.They wondered, 'Is it going to work, are you sure you want to have a serious relationship with someone outside of your race? He developed a preference for white women, he said. From junior high to college, he was often told by girls he wanted to date that they weren't allowed because he was black."I had to sneak my girlfriend out of her house for the prom," Henry said.
The same is true of about three-in-ten newlyweds living near Las Vegas or Santa Barbara, California. Click here to see full tables that can be sorted by metro area and race and ethnicity.) These areas are all relatively diverse in terms of race and ethnicity, and this diversity likely contributes to the high intermarriage rates by creating a diverse pool of potential spouses.Matthew, who is white, was president of the Old Dominion University campus ministry group; Shannon, who is black, was vice president."We would host events together, have lunches together, come to campus early together, walk around campus and pray together," Shannon said. "For people who have been in interracial relationships, it's 'Yes.' It might be a feeling of 'Finally.' "Henry and Lin Chambers of Hampton just celebrated their 18th anniversary, and Henry, who is black, said he had almost always dated non-black women.Race was never an issue for them, the couple said, though it seemed to bother others."I think people close to us were concerned. He said he grew up in the military, and his family was often one of the few minority families around.Some of these metro areas include marriage markets with relatively little racial and ethnic diversity, which likely contributes to the relatively low rates of intermarriage.In Asheville, for instance, 85% of the pool of potential spouses is white, and in Youngstown, 79% of the marriage market is comprised of whites and another 15% is comprised of blacks.In Honolulu, for instance, the “marriage market” (which is defined as all unmarried and recently married adults, and serves as a proxy for the recent pool of potential partners in the area) is made up of 42% Asians, 20% non-Hispanic whites and 9% Hispanics.