A Multiracial America?

Stephen Henderson speaks with Juliana Horowitz, associate director of research for the Pew Research Center, about the growing number of people who identify as belonging to more than one racial group and how this could push the nation to reconsider the role race plays in our society. The key points of their discussion:

  • Racial identity: Horowitz says the Pew study defined multiracial identity as the way people racially identified themselves, their parents, and grandparents. She says 6.9% of U.S. adults, approximately 17 million, have a mixed-race background but this racial identity changes throughout the course of life.
  • Do you see yourself the way others see you?: She says 61% of those who identified as having a mixed-race background of two or more races say they don’t define themselves using such terms. Instead many said that because they have the appearance of a single race, this is the one that has shaped their experiences. Horowitz says having multiple races in your background doesn’t necessarily reflect how you may see yourself or how others may see you and this plays a large role in the experiences you face on a daily basis.
  • A growing population: According to Horowitz, the stigma associated with multiracial marriages and births is starting to erode and that over time Americans have become more accepting of interracial relationships. She says today 1 in 10 babies born into two-parent households are mixed race and that the U.S. Census predicts the multiracial population will triple by 2060.

Listen to the full conversation by clicking the audio link above.

Image credit: Philippe Put

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