Am I the only one who wasn't aware of Robert De Niro's "preferences"? Robert De Niro, a famous actor and native New Yorker, loves him some black women. His first wife was an African-American actress and singer. They divorced in 1988. He then dated a model by the name of Toukie Smith, also African-American. In 1997, he married his 2nd and current wife, Grace Hightower. They have been married for 15 years.
Anyway, this recent discovery had me thinking about interracial relationships and wondering how prevalent they really are. Being the researcher that I am and hearing over the years how men prefer women of other races and how black women can't find a man because they are leaning towards white women and how black men feel that life would be easier (or is easier) if they date and marry whites......I decided to see how well those theories match with cold hard statistics.
Contrary to what society would have you believe, only 10.8% of married Black American men had a non-Black spouse. 4.6% of married Black American women had a non-Black spouse. It is true that the percentage goes up, based on education level, however it is only a marginal increase (2.5% difference).
It is also interesting to note that the percentage of African American men cohabiting with someone of another race is 5.5% higher than those that marry someone from another race. So, it is more likely that an African American man will date and live with a woman of another race, but less likely that he will actually marry her.
In an answer to those men who feel that it is easier to be with women of other races, due to the "attitude" that black women have, it would be useful to note that the divorce rate among black men and non-black women, the divorce rate is twice the divorce rate of same-race married couples. Surprisingly, when the roles are switched (black women marrying other races) their marriage is 44% less likely to end in divorce.* So, my black sisters, it is definitely time for us to expand our horizons.
*Please note that these divorce rates are based on if the couple is still married by their 10th year of marriage.