Number of biracial babies soars over past decade

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, New Media, United States on 2012-04-27 02:41Z by Steven

Number of biracial babies soars over past decade

The Washington Post
2012-04-26

Carol Morello, Demographics Reporter

The number of mixed-race babies has soared over the past decade, new census data show, a result of more interracial couples and a cultural shift in how many parents identify their children in a multiracial society.

More than 7 percent of the 3.5 million children born in the year before the 2010 Census were of two or more races, up from barely 5 percent a decade earlier. The number of children born to black and white couples and to Asian and white couples almost doubled.

“I think people are more comfortable in identifying themselves, and their children, as mixed race,” said William H. Frey, a Brookings Institution demographer who analyzed detailed census data on mixed-race infants. “It’s much more socially acceptable, more mainstream, to say, ‘That’s what we want to identify them as.’”…

…Frey said the census statistics on children with black and white parents in particular show a country that is advancing toward the day when race loses its power to be a hot-button issue.

People who identify themselves as one race tend to be older. They reflect a society in which laws prohibited interracial marriage and states such as Virginia enforced a “one drop” rule designating anyone as black if they could trace even one drop of their blood to an African American ancestor. President Obama, for example, identified himself as one race — black — on his census form, even though his mother was white…

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Intermarriage rates soar as stereotypes fall

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, New Media, Social Science, United States on 2012-02-17 03:30Z by Steven

Intermarriage rates soar as stereotypes fall

The Washington Post
2012-02-16

Carol Morello

Virginia leads the nation in the percentage of marriages between blacks and whites, a new study by the Pew Research Center shows, barely four decades after state laws criminalizing interracial marriage were struck down by the Supreme Court. And one in five new married couples in the District crossed racial and ethnic lines.

The prevalence of intermarriage in and around the Washington area reflects demographic changes that are pushing interracial marriage rates to an all-time high in the United States while toppling historical taboos among younger people…

Dan Lichter, a Cornell University sociologist who has studied intermarriage, said the trend shows the continuing blurring of racial boundaries.

“Different racial and ethnic minorities are increasingly sharing the same social space, in their neighborhoods, their job settings and schools,” Lichter said. “It’s a reflection of declining inequality on a lot of fronts, including income and education.”

But a postracial society remains a long way off, he added.

“Most of the minorities who outmarry are not marrying other minorities,” Lichter said. “They’re outmarrying to whites. It’s not a melting pot.

Nathan Nash, a black man who is divorced from a Korean American woman he was married to for five years, said that is particularly true for African Americans. A technology consultant who used to live in the District and now lives in Orange County, Calif., Nash said he has Asian friends who would not consider dating blacks…

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Virginia’s Caroline County, ‘Symbolic of Main Street USA’

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2012-02-13 03:06Z by Steven

Virginia’s Caroline County, ‘Symbolic of Main Street USA’

The Washington Post
2012-02-10

Carol Morello

Bowling Green, Va. — Only a few easily overlooked markers note the importance of Mildred and Richard Loving in Caroline County, where five decades ago the sheriff rousted the white man and his black bride from their bed and carted them off to jail.

A small brass plaque in the county courthouse credits their landmark 1967 U.S. Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia, with overturning laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Their names are engraved on a granite obelisk, at the end of a list of prominent local African Americans. The county Web site devotes a page to their case.

Yet their legacy is everywhere in the small Tidewater towns and family farms that make up Caroline County, where a soaring number of people identify themselves as multiracial.

In the 2010 Census, 3 percent of Caroline County’s 28,500 residents were counted as of two or more races. Most are younger than 20. The phenomenon is both old and new.

Historical records show multiracial children in the county going back to slave-holding Colonial times. Today, their increasing ranks are part of a national trend that is changing the way people think and talk about race.

…Even in 1958, Caroline County was an unlikely place for an interracial couple to be arrested. An area known as Central Point had so many multiracial residents of white, black and Native American heritage that during segregation, their children all attended the county’s all-black high school. A major feature of Central Point is Passing Road — a name attributed in local lore to the many residents who could “pass” as white. Elderly residents of Central Point say they recall other interracial couples who had married out of state and lived quietly in the area….

…It’s not known how Mildred Loving, with her black and Native American heritage, identified herself in the 2000 Census. She died in 2008, 33 years after her husband died in a car crash. But in the 2010 Census, their daughter decided to check only one box when faced, like so many millions of other Americans, with boiling down a complex ancestry on a bureaucratic form.

“Native American,” said Peggy Loving Fortune, who is 52. “Just Native American.”…

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