The question isn't simply a matter of whom you'll be going out with on Saturday night. Indeed, despite its increasing depiction in the media, interracial romance is still America's "last taboo," according to Tom Smith, director of the General Social Survey at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. And recent surveys reveal that American attitudes toward intermarriage have also steadily improved: While 70 percent of adults in 1986 said they approved of interracial marriage, that figure had climbed to 83 percent by 2003, according to a Roper Reports study.

In a newly released survey by the online dating service, which specializes in connecting people who choose "character above color," according to a release, ten of the site's top 20 states with the most populous members have historically voted Republican over the past five presidential elections.

At the top of the list: California and Texas, the notoriously conservative state--and Georgia, which rounded out the top five. have climbed to a record 4.8 million, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center earlier this year.

Further down, Alabama takes the number 15 spot, despite having legalized miscegenation as late as 2000. Experts there point to the steady flow of new Asian and Hispanic immigrants, which has expanded the pool of prospective spouses."As a black conservative, I posit that the media has a vested interest in portraying all conservatives as racists and all liberals as open-minded when in my experience, that is not the truth," said Laura Noble, 46, a black woman who lives in Virginia, the 8th state on Interracial Dating.com's list.

(June 2005) As the United States population becomes ever more diverse, are more people dating across race lines? married couples that are interracial nearly doubled from 2.9 percent to 5.4 percent between 19, to a total of more than 3 million.

And he adds that whites are also more likely to be racially isolated than people of color—a notion sociologists lump under the term "propinquity," which describes the tendency for people to work better or bond with those geographically near them.

"If you think about communities in the Midwest, in places such as [rural] Wisconsin and Montana, if you're white and even if you're open to interracially dating, there are not that many people of color around," Yancey says.

"Chances are, if you're a person of color, you're more likely to be exposed to European Americans than vice versa." However, his analysis also found that neither living in an integrated neighborhood nor attending an integrated place of worship boosted people's interdating rates as much as attending an integrated school. adults, 86 percent of people ages 18 to 29 approved of marriage between blacks and whites, but just 30 percent of those ages 65 and older approved of such marriages.

Yancey collected a sample of 2,561 adults age 18 and older from the Lilly Survey of Attitudes and Friendships, a telephone survey of English- and Spanish-speaking adults conducted from October 1999 to April 2000.

He found that 35.7 percent of white Americans had interdated, along with 56.5 percent of African Americans, 55.4 percent of Hispanic Americans, and 57.1 percent of Asian Americans.