White-Na­tive Amer­i­can adults largest mul­tira­cial group: Pew


Non- His­panic whites with Amer­i­can In­dian an­ces­try make up a full half of the cur­rent pop­u­la­tion of mixed-race Amer­i­cans but are among the least likely to say that they are mul­tira­cial, ac­cord­ing to a study re­leased Thurs­day.

This pop­u­la­tion is also the more likely to be Repub­li­can-lean­ing and con­ser­va­tive than the rest of the mul­tira­cial pop­u­la­tion, finds the study by the Pew Re­search Cen­ter. But they may some­day be eclipsed by other mul­tira­cial Amer­i­cans, with the ma­jor­ity of mixed-race ba­bies born in 2013 be­ing ei­ther bira­cial white and black or bira­cial white and Asian.

The Cen­sus Bureau es­ti­mates the num­ber of mul­tira­cial Amer­i­cans at 2.1 per­cent of the adult pop­u­la­tion. Dur­ing its sur­vey, Pew asked peo­ple about their race, the race of their par­ents and the race of their grand­par­ents. With those num­bers, how­ever, the “Mul­tira­cial in Amer­ica” re­port finds that 6.9 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion in the United States is of mixed race.

That’s a big jump from the past and points to a pop­u­la­tion that is ex­pected to grow, said Kim Parker, Pew’s direc­tor of so­cial trends re­search. In 1970, among ba­bies living with two par­ents, only 1 per­cent had par­ents who were dif­fer­ent races from each other. By 2013, that share had risen to 10 per­cent.

The largest group of mul­tira­cial adults is bira­cial white and Na­tive Amer­i­can, the re­port said, with 50 per­cent of the mul­tira­cial adults claim­ing that dual an­ces­try. Black and Amer­i­can In­dian adults make up 12 per­cent of the mul­tira­cial pop­u­la­tion, while those with a white and black back­ground make up 11 per­cent.

The bira­cial white and Amer­i­can In­di­ans are also the one group “whose mem­bers are the least likely to con­sider them­selves ‘mul­tira­cial,’” the re­port said. Bira­cial white-Asian adults were the most likely to say they were mul­tira­cial and to con­sider them­selves mul­tira­cial.

For many


adults, their ex­pe­ri­ences are sim­i­lar to those who iden­tify them­selves as sin­gle races. For ex­am­ple, 40 per­cent of mixed-race adults with a black back­ground said they have been un­fairly stopped by the po­lice be­cause of their racial back­ground. How­ever, only 6 per­cent of bira­cial white and Asian adults and 15 per­cent of white and Amer­i­can In­dian adults said they have had this ex­pe­ri­ence.

Racial iden­tity can be fluid for some peo­ple and fixed for oth­ers, Parker said. Thirty per­cent of the mul­tira­cial adults said they had de­scribed them­selves as some­thing other than mul­tira­cial ear­lier in their lives, she said.

Bira­cial white and Amer­i­can In- di­ans are the only mul­tira­cial group that leans Repub­li­can, with the Repub­li­can Party hold­ing a 53-42 per­cent ad­van­tage over the Democrats, the re­port said. All of the other mixed-race groups — whiteAsian, black-white, black-Na­tive Amer­i­can, and black-white-Na­tive Amer­i­can — fa­vored the Democrats by large num­bers.

Like the rest of the United States’ de­mo­graph­ics, the com­po­si­tion of the mixed-race Amer­i­cans is chang­ing, the re­port noted. Thir­tysix per­cent of mixed race ba­bies born in 2012 were bira­cial white and black and 24 per­cent were bira­cial white and Asia. Only 12 per­cent were white and Amer­i­can In­dian, Parker said.

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