A new study from Pew Research Center reveals almost four-in-ten or 39% of Americans who have married since 2010 say their spouse is in a different religious group than they are. More than 50 years ago, that number hovered around a mere 19%. Pew defined “interfaith marriage” as someone who married someone in another Christian tradition, an entirely different religion or identified as unaffiliated.
An examination of the data shows that the most common religious integration is with Christians and religiously unaffiliated; also referred to as “nones”. With Pew Research reporting the rise of “nones” in another study released in May, the correlation is not surprising. However, a portion of the research does suggest that marrying someone of the same faith can make marriages more durable than those who marry outside their religion.
In looking at other religions, 61% of Buddhists say their significant other (defined as either a spouse or someone they cohabit with) is of another religion. While 91% of Hindus, 82% of Mormons and 79% of Muslims report marrying someone of the same religion. The study looked at marriages that are still intact and did not take into consideration marriages that happened in 2010 but ended in divorce.
For an in-depth look at how Pew Research Center gathered their data, you can read the report here. You can also read the newest religion study from Pew Research on the changing landscape of religion in America.