The Rise of Mixed Parentage: A Sociological and Demographic Phenomenon to Be Reckoned With

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-12-01 00:35Z by Steven

The Rise of Mixed Parentage: A Sociological and Demographic Phenomenon to Be Reckoned With

The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Volume: 677, Issue: 1, What Census Data Miss about American Diversity, (May 2018)
Pages 26-38
DOI: 10.1177/0002716218757656

Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology
City University of New York

Brenden Beck, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology
University of Florida

Duygu Basaran Sahin
City University of New York


Ethno-racially mixed parentage is rising in frequency, creating a strong challenge to both census classification schemes and, indeed, to common conceptions of ethnicity and race. Majority (white) and minority (nonwhite or Hispanic) parentage predominates among individuals with mixed-family backgrounds. Yet in public presentations of census data and population projections, individuals with mixed backgrounds are generally classified as nonwhite. We analyze 2013 American Community Survey data and summarize the results of important studies to argue that individuals from mixed majority-minority backgrounds resemble whites more than they do minorities in terms of some key social characteristics and experiences, such as where they grow up and their social affiliations as adults. Those with a black parent are an important exception. An implication of this analysis is that census classification practices for mixed individuals risk distorting conceptions of the current population, especially its youthful portion, and promoting misunderstandings of ethno-racial change.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Census Bureau’s Plan to Cut Marriage and Divorce Questions Has Academics Up in Arms

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Economics, Gay & Lesbian, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-01-01 20:37Z by Steven

Census Bureau’s Plan to Cut Marriage and Divorce Questions Has Academics Up in Arms

The New York Times

Justin Wolfers, Senior Fellow
Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, D.C.

also: Professor of Economics and Public Policy
University of Michigan

If the Census Bureau proceeds with a recently released plan, then in a few years’ time, we will know very little about how the contours of family life are changing.

We will not even know whether marriage and divorce rates are rising or falling. For all the talk of evidence-based policy, the result will be that important debates on issues including family law, welfare reform, same-sex marriage and the rise of nontraditional families will proceed in a statistical void.

Much of what I, an economist who has studied family issues, and my colleagues in this field have learned about recent trends in marriage and divorce has come from questions in the American Community Survey. It asks people whether they have given birth, married, divorced or been widowed in the past year. Their answers allow demographers to track marriage and divorce rates by age, gender, race and education.

These data have revealed many important social trends, including the rise of sharply different marriage and divorce patterns between rich and poor, and the increase in divorce among older Americans, even as it has fallen for younger people. And they have provided the only statistical window into the adoption of same-sex marriage.

The Census Bureau is proposing to eliminate these questions. It would follow a series of steps taken over recent decades that have collectively devastated our ability to track family change. This isn’t being done as a strategic policy choice but rather is the result of a series of isolated decisions made across several decades by statisticians scattered across various government agencies who have failed to understand the cumulative effect of their actions…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,