How common has interracial marriage become?

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle engagement appearance (CNN Newsource)Thumbnail

Monday's announcement that Britain's Prince Harry is engaged to marry American actress Meghan Markle means that within a few months, even the British royal family will have an interracial couple.

Markle's father is white, while her mother is black.

Half a century ago, their marriage would have been illegal in 17 U.S. states, mostly in the South.

But a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1967 made interracial marriage legal nationwide.

A Pew Research Center study of 2010 U.S. Census figures found that 15% of new marriages in the United States now involve couples who come from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. That's more than one out of seven marriages.

Mixed couples that are white and Hispanic are by far the most common, making up 43% of the total, followed by white and Asian couples at 14% and black and white couples at 12%.

Because of that, nearly 6% of the U.S. population below the age of 18 is now multiracial. That's twice the overall national figure for all age groups. Experts believe the actual number of multiracial Americans is likely much higher.

It's a similar story in Great Britain where census figures indicate that one out of every 10 relationships is now interracial.

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