These words, much older than the term miscegenation, are derived from the Late Latin mixticius for "mixed", which is also the root of the Spanish word mestizo.
Portuguese also uses miscigenação, derived from the same Latin root as the English word.
The overall numbers mask significant gender gaps within some racial groups.
Among blacks, men are much more likely than women to marry someone of a different race.
These non-English terms for "race-mixing" are not considered as offensive as "miscegenation", although they have historically been tied to the caste system (Casta) that was established during the colonial era in Spanish-speaking Latin America.
Some groups in South America, however, consider the use of the word mestizo offensive because it was used during the times of the colony to refer specifically to the mixing between the conquistadores and the indigenous people.
The term miscegenation has been used since the 19th century to refer to interracial marriage and interracial sexual relations, In the present day, the word miscegenation is avoided by many scholars, because the term suggests a concrete biological phenomenon, rather than a categorization imposed on certain relationships.
In 2013, a record-high 12% of newlyweds married someone of a different race, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data.
(This share does not take into account the “interethnic” marriages between Hispanics and non-Hispanics, which we covered in an earlier report on intermarriage.) Looking beyond newlyweds, 6.3% of all marriages were between spouses of different races in 2013, up from less than 1% in 1970.
In Canada, however, the Métis, who also have partly Amerindian and partly white, often French-Canadian, ancestry, have identified as an ethnic group and are a constitutionally recognized aboriginal people.
The differences between related terms and words which encompass aspects of racial admixture show the impact of different historical and cultural factors leading to changing social interpretations of race and ethnicity.
Conversely, people classified in censuses as black, brown ("pardo") or indigenous have disadvantaged social indicators in comparison to the white population.