Differences by race/Hispanic origin*
Attitudes and practices around adolescent dating are influenced by cultural, historical, and other factors, including those associated with race and ethnicity. Non-Hispanic white and Hispanic students in the twelfth grade were more likely than non-Hispanic black students to report they date frequently. In 2017, 16 percent of non-Hispanic white and 15 percent of Hispanic twelfth graders reported frequent dating (more than once a week), compared with 10 percent of non-Hispanic black students. In tenth grade as well, non-Hispanic white and Hispanic students were more likely to date frequently (7 percent among both groups) than non-Hispanic black students (5 percent). In eighth grade, however, non-Hispanic black students reported the highest rate of frequent dating (5 percent), followed by Hispanic (4 percent) and non-Hispanic white students (2 percent; Appendix 2).
In twelfth grade, race and Hispanic origin are also associated with the likelihood of never dating. In 2017, 51 percent of Hispanic and 50 percent of non-Hispanic black students reported never dating, followed by 45 percent of non-Hispanic white students. In tenth grade, non-Hispanic white students were less likely to report never dating, at 52 percent in 2017, compared with 59 percent of their non-Hispanic black peers, and 54 percent of their Hispanic peers. Among eighth graders, non-Hispanic white students reported the highest rate of never dating (72 percent), followed by their Hispanic and non-Hispanic black peers (70 and 66 percent, respectively; Appendix 1).
*Estimates for white and black youth exclude Hispanic youth and youth of two or more races. Hispanic youth include persons identifying as Mexican American or Chicano, Cuban American, Puerto Rican, or other Hispanic or Latino and no other racial/ethnic group.