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About 85 percent of the NLSY79 cohort married by age 46, and among those who married, a sizeable fraction, almost 30 percent, married more than once.The bulk of marriages occurred by age 28, with relatively few marriages taking place at age 35 or older.Among couples who were still married during the survey, those who met online reported higher marital satisfaction -- an average score of 5.64 on a satisfaction survey -- than those who met offline and averaged 5.48.The lowest satisfaction rates were reported by people who met through family, work, bars/clubs or blind dates.(August 2010) When Ann Dunham, a white woman, married a black African student, Barack Obama Sr., in 1961, marriage between white and black Americans was rare. In 2010, with Barack Obama Jr., in the White House, attitudes toward interracial dating and marriage are very different.Less than 3 percent of all marriages were interracial in 1960, and the public generally disapproved of such unions. Not surprisingly, this transformation is most evident among young people.Anything at or above 0.0156, the coefficient for second cousins, is considered consanguineous; that includes relationships between people and their nephews and nieces. For one thing, 25 states ban marriage between first cousins, and another seven states have restrictions on it (for example, in Arizona first-cousin marriage is allowed only if both people are 65 or older, or if one is unable to reproduce).Those laws might make some individuals reluctant to say they are in a consanguineous relationship and result in some undercounting of relationships.

To find out whether the share has changed since then, I emailed Alan Bittles, a professor at the Centre for Human Genetics at Edith Cowan University, which, like you, is in Western Australia.Dear Daryn, An estimated 0.2 percent of marriages in the United States are between individuals who are second cousins or closer — that means there are about 250,000 people in America in those relationships.I know you asked about first cousins, but all the research I’ve found uses second cousins as the benchmark of consanguinity (more commonly known as intermarriage).A recent study of profiles submitted to the online dating website showed, for example, that whites are more open to dating Hispanics and Asians than blacks are.And younger clients are more willing to date outside their race than older clients. A recent report from the Pew Research Center found that one in seven new marriages in 2008 was either interracial or between a Hispanic and a non-Hispanic—unions encompassed by the term "intermarriages." This is double the percentage of intermarriages in 1980, but still relatively low.Many changes in the last half century have affected marriage and divorce rates.


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