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Nearly 1 in 10 people (9% or 2.3 million) who were living as part of a couple were in an inter-ethnic relationship in England and Wales in 2011.

This has increased from 7% in 2001. People from the Mixed ethnic groups were most likely to be in an inter-ethnic relationship (85%). Outside the Mixed ethnic groups, White Irish (71%), Other Black (62%) and Gypsy or Irish Travellers (50%) were the most likely to be in an inter-ethnic relationship.White British (4%) were least likely to be in inter-ethnic relationships, followed by Bangladeshi (7%), Pakistani (9%) and Indian (12%) ethnic groups.

The biggest difference between the sexes was found with the Chinese group, where women were almost twice as likely (39%) to be in an inter-ethnic relationship as men (20%).

Of all people in inter-ethnic relationships, 4 in 10 (40%) included someone who was White British - the most common being between Other White and White British (16%).

People who were married (or in a civil partnership) were less likely to be in an inter-ethnic relationship than people who were co-habiting (8% compared with 12%).

Some 7% of dependent children lived in a household with an inter-ethnic relationship.

Pakistani (3%), Indian (3%) and Bangladeshi (2%) dependent children were least likely to live in a household with an inter-ethnic relationship.

(Office for National Statistics)

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