GALLUP NEWS SERVICE PRINCETON, NJ -- Most Americans say they approve of interracial dating.
As one would expect, most Americans, 92%, say they have dated someone of their own racial or ethnic background in their lifetimes -- 97% of whites have dated a white person, 95% of blacks have dated a black person, and 83% of Hispanics have dated another Hispanic.
But it is not uncommon for people to report dating someone from a different racial or ethnic background -- 48% of Americans overall say they have done so, including 69% of Hispanics, 52% of blacks, and 45% of whites.
Younger Americans -- who are more approving of interracial dating -- are also more likely to have dated a person from a different racial or ethnic background.
Seventy-two percent of whites approve of a white man dating a black woman, while 65% of whites approve of a black man dating a white woman.
There are substantial differences by age in approval of interracial dating.
Those in the 18- to 29-year-old age category are nearly unanimous in their approval, but approval declines significantly with each succeeding age category, to the point at which less than half of senior citizens approve.
Percentage Approving of Interracial Dating, by Age Interracial and Interethnic Dating in Practice In addition to measuring the public's attitudes toward interracial dating, the poll also measured the extent to which people have dated someone with similar or different racial and ethnic backgrounds from their own.
Younger Americans are much more likely to approve of interracial dating and to have dated someone from a different racial or ethnic background.
Gallup's annual Minority Rights and Relations poll delved into the topic of interracial dating to see whether Americans approve or disapprove of whites and blacks dating.
One half of the sample, which included larger numbers of blacks and Hispanics than in a typical poll, was asked about a .
The poll finds 75% of Americans approving of a white man dating a black woman, and 71% approving of a black man dating a white woman. The distinction between the race of the man and woman makes little difference for blacks and Hispanics, but appears to affect whites' approval of interracial dating to a small degree.