Multiracial Americans Become Fastest-Growing U.S. GroupWASHINGTON (AP)— Multiracial Americans have become the fastest growing demographic group, wielding an impact on minority growth that challenges traditional notions of race.
The number of multiracial people rose 3.4 percent last year to about 5.2 million, according to the latest census estimates. First given the option in 2000, Americans who check more than one box for race on census surveys have jumped by 33 percent and now make up 5 percent of the minority population _ with millions more believed to be uncounted."Multiracial unions have been happening for a very long time, but we are only now really coming to terms with saying it's OK," said Carolyn Liebler, a sociology professor at the University of Minnesota who specializes in family, race and ethnicity.More than half of the multiracial population was younger than 20 years old, a reflection of declining social stigma as interracial marriages became less taboo.
Interracial marriages increased threefold to 4.3 million since 2000, when Alabama became the last state to lift its unenforceable ban on interracial marriages. (The Supreme Court barred race-based restrictions on marriage in 1967.) About 1 in 13 marriages are mixed race, with the most prevalent being white-Hispanic, white-American Indian and white-Asian.