Who Is Multiracial? Exploring the Complexities and Challenges Associated with Identifying "the" Multiracial Population in Census 2000

Nicholas A. Jones, U.S. Census Bureau
Amy Symens Smith, U.S. Census Bureau

Despite the new opportunity to report more than one race, only 2.4 percent of the U.S. population identified with two or more races in Census 2000. These results lead us to question whether the population reporting two or more races reflects the potential number of people that - based on their interracial parentage - could have reported multiple races. This study investigates race reporting patterns from Census 2000 for children living in two-parent interracial families representing the four largest race combinations: "White and SOR," "White and AIAN," "White and Asian," and "White and Black." We explore age, sex, Hispanic origin, and geographic characteristics for children who reported multiple races that matched their interracial parentage, and children who reported a single race, but could have reported multiple races based on their interracial parentage. The findings of this research shed light on the complexities and challenges associated with identifying "the" multiracial population.

Presented in Session 45: Challenges and Opportunities of Multiple Race Identification