The 2010 Census showed that people who reported multiple races grew by a larger percentage than those reporting a single race. According to the 2010 Census brief The Two or More Races Population: 2010, the population reporting multiple races (9.0 million) grew by 32.0 percent from 2000 to 2010, compared with those who reported a single race, which grew by 9.2 percent.
Overall, the total U.S. population increased by 9.7 percent since 2000, however, many multiple-race groups increased by 50 percent or more.
The first time in U.S. history that people were presented with the option to self-identify with more than one race came on the 2000 Census questionnaire. Therefore, the examination of data from the 2000 and 2010 censuses provides the first comparisons on multiple-race combinations in the United States. An effective way to compare the multiple-race data is to examine changes in specific combinations, such as white and black, white and Asian, or black and Asian.
“These comparisons show substantial growth in the multiple-race population, providing detailed insights to how this population has grown and diversified over the past decade,” said Nicholas Jones, chief of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Racial Statistics Branch.
Changes in Race Combinations
–Four groups were the largest multiple-race combinations, each exceeding 1 million people in size, white and black (1.8 million), white and “some other race” (1.7 million), white and Asian (1.6 million) and white and American Indian and Alaska Native (1.4 million).
–Since 2000, two multiple-race groups exhibited the most significant changes — the white and black population, which grew more than 1 million and increased by 134 percent; and the white and Asian population, which grew by about 750,000 and increased by 87 percent.
Multiple-Race Populations by State
–There were 16 states where the people who reported more than one race exceeded 200,000 or more. The top three states (California, Texas and New York) each had a multiple-race population of half a million people or more.
–The percentage change in the multiple-race population was 70 percent or greater in nine states — South Carolina, North Carolina, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Mississippi and South Dakota. Each state, with the exception of South Dakota, was a southern state. The multiple-race population grew by 50 percent or more in 22 additional states.
Multiple-Race Populations by Place
–Among places with populations of 100,000 or more, Urban Honolulu CDP, Hawaii (a census designated place) was the place with the highest proportion of multiple-race whites, multiple-race Asians, and multiple-race Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders. Lansing, Mich., was the place with the highest proportion of multiple-race blacks, and Anchorage, Alaska, was the place with the highest proportion of multiple-race American Indians and Alaska Natives.
People who responded to the question on race by indicating only one race are referred to as the race-alone population, or the group who reported only one race. For example, people who marked only the “white” category on the census questionnaire constituted the white alone population. This population can be viewed as the minimum number of people reporting white.
The “two or more races” population refers to people who reported more than one of the six race categories, and this term is used in Census Bureau statistics as well as the tables and figures in the report. In the text of the report, we also refer to the “two or more races” population as the group that reported more than one race, or the multiple-race population. For example, people who reported they were both white and black or reported they were both black and Asian would be included in the multiple-race population. There are 57 possible mul?tiple-race combinations involving the five race categories and the category “some other race.” The report presents statistics for each of the 57 mul?tiple-race combinations.
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