Multiracial Population Growing

In 2008, many Americans celebrated “the first black president.” But Barack Obama is actually biracial – like an increasing number of us who want to be seen that way.

According to a new release of 2010 Census info, “people who reported multiple races grew by a larger percentage than those reporting a single race.”

The total U.S. population has grown by 9.7 percent since 2000. But certain categories of mixed-race parentage have increased by more than half…

Changes in Race Combinations

  • Four groups were the largest multiple-race combinations, each exceeding 1 million people in size, white and black (1.8 million), white and “some other race” (1.7 million), white and Asian (1.6 million) and white and American Indian and Alaska Native (1.4 million).
  • Since 2000, two multiple-race groups exhibited the most significant changes — the white and black population, which grew more than 1 million and increased by 134 percent; and the white and Asian population, which grew by about 750,000 and increased by 87 percent.

Multiple-Race Populations by State

  • There were 16 states where the people who reported more than one race exceeded 200,000 or more. The top three states (California, Texas and New York) each had a multiple-race population of half a million people or more.
  • The percentage change in the multiple-race population was 70 percent or greater in nine states — South Carolina, North Carolina, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Mississippi and South Dakota. Each state, with the exception of South Dakota, was a southern state. The multiple-race population grew by 50 percent or more in 22 additional states.

Multiple-Race Populations by Place

  • Among places with populations of 100,000 or more, Urban Honolulu CDP, Hawaii (a census designated place) was the place with the highest proportion of multiple-race whites, multiple-race Asians, and multiple-race Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders. Lansing, Mich., was the place with the highest proportion of multiple-race blacks, and Anchorage, Alaska, was the place with the highest proportion of multiple-race American Indians and Alaska Natives.

This is no surprise to me. I’m white, and my wife is Pacific Islander. But it’s worth noting that these race selections are self-reported on the Census, which has only allowed people to select multiple races since 2000. So while mixed-race populations are probably growing, these stats could also reflect some people just becoming more comfortable with or aware of their heritage. (And people who are just now noticing the option is no longer either/or.)

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