Mixed-Race Populations Experience Major Growth in the South

A New York Times article reports that the nation's mixed-race population is growing far more quickly than many demographers had estimated.

Mixed-race populations explode in the South.

The New York Times is reporting that the first comprehensive accounting of multiracial Americans since statistics were first collected about them in 2000 shows that the nation's mixed-race population is growing far more quickly than many demographers had estimated, particularly in the South and parts of the Midwest. The analysis is from data collected from the 2000 and 2010 censuses.

The Census Bureau analyzed data from 42 states and found that the mixed-race population doubled in North Carolina. In Georgia, it expanded by more than 80 percent, and by nearly as much in Kentucky and Tennessee. Mississippi's mixed-race population is up 70 percent. In Indiana, Iowa and South Dakota, the multiracial population increased by about 70 percent.

Census officials were expecting a national multiracial growth rate of about 35 percent since 2000, when 7 million people -- 2.4 percent of the population -- chose more than one race. Officials have not yet announced a national growth rate, but it seems sure to be closer to 50 percent.

Ironically, in states like California, Hawaii and Oklahoma, where people of mixed race already made up a significant percentage of the total, the increases were smaller than in places like Mississippi, where there were far fewer "mixed-race" people before the most recent census.

We find it interesting that researchers continue to be mystified by so-called mixed-race populations, since most Americans, especially black Americans, are already of mixed race. Blacks, whites and Natives have been "mixing" in the South for a few hundred years now. We suppose the wow factor is that people are able to self-identify as mixed race and can openly choose and marry partners of "different" races. The findings are reflecting what we've already known, especially in the South: Love has no color, and we're all related anyway.

Read more at the New York Times.

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