Pew: White-Native American adults largest multiracial group

ABC News

Non-Hispanic whites with American Indian ancestry make up a full half of the current population of mixed-race Americans but are among the least likely to say that they are multiracial, according to a study released Thursday.

This population is also the more likely to be Republican-leaning and conservative than the rest of the multiracial population, finds the study by the Pew Research Center. But they may someday be eclipsed by other multiracial Americans, with the majority of mixed-race babies born in 2013 being either biracial white and black or biracial white and Asian.  

The Census Bureau estimates the number of multiracial Americans at 2.1 percent of the adult population. During its survey, Pew asked people about their race, the race of their parents and the race of their grandparents. With those numbers, however, the “Multiracial in America” report finds that 6.9 percent of the population in the United States is of mixed race.

That’s a big jump from the past and points to a population that is expected to grow, said Kim Parker, Pew’s director of social trends research. In 1970, among babies living with two parents, only 1 percent had parents who were different races from each other. By 2013, that share had risen to 10 percent.

“From 2000-2010 that multiracial population grew three times as fast as the overall population,” Parker said. “And when we look at the number of babies being born that are mixed race and the rise in interracial marriage, we can see that not only is it continuing to grow but the growth could accelerate in the future.”

The largest group of multiracial adults is biracial white and Native American, the report said, with 50 percent of the multiracial adults claiming that dual ancestry. Black and American Indian adults make up 12 percent of the multiracial population, while those with a white and black background make up 11 percent.

The biracial white and American Indians are also the one group “whose members are the least likely to consider themselves ‘multiracial,'” the report said. Biracial white-Asian adults were the most likely to say they were multiracial and to consider themselves multiracial.

For many multiracial adults, their experiences are similar to those who identify themselves as single races. For example, 40 percent of mixed-race adults with a black background said they have been unfairly stopped by the police because of their racial background. However, only 6 percent of biracial white and Asian adults and 15 percent of white and American Indian adults said they have had this experience.

Racial identity can be fluid for some people and fixed for others, Parker said. Thirty percent of the multiracial adults said they had described themselves as something other than multiracial earlier in their lives, she said.

“Being multiracial is not just a sum of the races in your family tree,” she said. “It’s also part of experiences and upbringing and it also can be fluid and change over the life course or when an individual is in a certain set of circumstances.”

Biracial white and American Indians are the only multiracial group that leans toward the GOP, with the Republican Party holding a 53-42 percent advantage over the Democrats, the report said. All of the other mixed-race groups — white-Asian, black-white, black-Native American, and black-white-Native American — favored the Democrats by large numbers.

Like the rest of the United States’ demographics, the composition of the mixed-race Americans is changing, the report noted. Thirty-six percent of mixed race babies born in 2012 were biracial white and black and 24 percent were biracial white and Asia. Only 12 percent were white and American Indian, Parker said.

“That doesn’t necessarily dictate how they will identify when they grow up, but it’s sort of an indicator of maybe a shifting composition,” she said.


Jesse J. Holland covers race, ethnicity and demographics for The Associated Press. Contact him at

2 thoughts on “Pew: White-Native American adults largest multiracial group

  1. The Pew Research Center and ABC news are both perpetually full of shit, so what’s this article worth?

    And why such racial inquisitiveness from the propagandists who constantly accuse us of racism?

    I got news for you: White Americans are the most racially tolerant people in the world, and that’s why we’re so easily attacked as a race. We’re NOT racist. We’re being attacked by racists. The same racists that insist we’re all endowed with “white privilege”.

    If whites have any advantage in our society, it’s the result of inheritance, and a moral upbringing. Were Blacks raised with a “protestant work ethic”, or were they raised thinking they were being exploited every time they lifted a finger for a white boss?

    Slavery is an unfortunate truth of America’s history, but it was only a few generations ago, and since much of our behavior amounts to imitation of our parents, many people in our society are raised to hate white people.

    My “white privilege” is a result of me, my daddy and grand daddy busting their ass every day, and not blowing the paycheck on alcohol or crack. Put in a few generations of hard work and responsible behavior, and then talk to me about “white privilege”.

  2. What is the point of the article? Is this just an FYI? “Hey did ya know “native americans” -white’s are the largest, blah, blah, blah?” Who cares? And, how do they figure calling us “native American” is any less offensive than Indian? This land wasn’t called “America” when white people came here, lol. I still prefer Indian, at least it has character and a story. “Native American” is dry and the story is a bunch of PC pussies took it upon themselves to be the true racists and sterilize everyone’s culture and remind us that we are lower than white people, at least in the liberal’s mind.

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