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Multiracial, Multiethnic Babies on the Increase in U.S.: Study

In 2015, about one-in-seven, or 14 percent of, children in the U.S. under the age of one were multiracial or multiethnic, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. The rate is three times greater than it was in 1980.


The analysis, which was published Tuesday, includes data on multiracial or multiethnic babies, including children less than one year old whose parents are each of a different race, those with one Hispanic and one non-Hispanic parent and those with at least one parent who identifies as multiracial.

The majority of multiethnic or multiracial babies, 42 percent, have one parent who is non-Hispanic and one who is non-Hispanic white.The second largest group, 22 percent, has at least one parent who is multiracial, followed by 14 percent of babies who have one Asian parent and one non-Hispanic white parent. And, 10 percent of babies have one Black parent and one non-Hispanic white parent.

In the analysis, Pew used the term ethnicity in reference to Hispanics only, as the census does.

The analysis is also limited to infants living with two parents “because census data on the race and ethnicity of parents is only available for those living in the same home,” the authors stated. “In 2015, this was the case for 62 percent of all infants.”

The rise in multiracial or multiethnic infants correlates with the growth in marriages among couples of different races or ethnicities.

A Pew report released May 18 marked 50 years since the landmark Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia, which legalized interracial marriage in the U.S.

Interracial marriage has made more than a fivefold increase since 1967, when only 3 percent of newlyweds were intermarried.

In 2015, one-in-six newlyweds (17 percent) had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity. More broadly, among all married people in 2015, one-in-10, about 11 million,were intermarried, according to Pew.

The analysis found that 29 percent of newlywed Asians married someone of a different race or ethnicity, followed by Hispanics at 27 percent, Blacks at 18 percent and whites at 11 percent.

Researchers also found that intermarriage is twice as common for Black men as it is for Black women, and Asian women are far more likely to intermarry than Asian men.

The increasing trends in intermarriage and multiracial or multiethnic children are “likely spurred in part by the growing racial and ethnic diversity in the U.S.,” according to Pew.

At DiversityInc’s fall conference on recruitment, civil rights attorney Steve Phillips, author of the New York Times bestselling book “Brown Is the New White,” said “Every single day, there are 7,000 new people of color added to the U.S. population, and 1,000 whites. So every hour, every minute, the country is getting increasingly diverse.”

Phillips said Hispanics are the largest minority group in the country, comprising about 55 million people, “and only 18 percent” of Hispanics are undocumented.”

“The fastest growing group is actually Asian Americans,” he added.

The Pew analysis also found that the percentage of infants in two-parent homes who have parents of different races or ethnicities varies greatly across states.

At 44 percent, Hawaii has the greatest number of multiracial or multiethnic babies. The second highest, 28 percent, is in both Oklahoma and Alaska.

Vermont has the least number of multiracial or multiethnic infants, at 4 percent. According to the 2010 census, the state’s population is about 95 percent white.

The majority of Americans are accepting of children with parents of a different race, according to a 2015 Pew survey.

The researchers found that approximately 22 percent of U.S. adults said more children with parents of different races was a good thing for society, while about half that amount (11 percent) thought it was bad. The majority of U.S. adults (65 percent) thought that this trend “didn’t make much of a difference,” said Pew.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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