Almost fifty years after the landmark 1967 Supreme Court case, Loving v Virginia, which legalized interracial marriage across the country, Pew Research Center examined the experience of multiracial Americans in a new survey of 1,555 multiracial Americans ages 18 and older.
Although 2.1 percent of adult Americans self-identified as multiracial on the 2010 US Census, when Pew Research Center also took into account the races of one’s parents and grandparents, that number was much higher, 6.9 percent. This includes 2.9 percent of respondents who identified as one race but said they had one parent who was of a different race, and 2.6 percent who identified as one race but said they had at least one grandparent who was of a different race. Of these, 4 percent identify as Asian and white, the fifth largest grouping.
In addition, Pew Research Center also found that racial identity is fluid, with multiracial Americans identifying themselves differently over time. Of those who identify as two or more races, 29 percent previously thought of themselves as one race and 69 percent always thought of themselves as two or more races. Of those who identify as only one race, 29 percent previously thought of themselves as two or more races, and 70 percent always thought of themselves as one race. More than any other race combination, 70 percent of Asian-white multiracial adults consider themselves multiracial.
Asian-white adult multiracial Americans report experiencing discrimination; 60 percent report being subject to racial slurs or jokes, 25 percent report poor service in restaurants or businesses, and 6 percent report being unfairly stopped by police. At the same time, 58 percent see being multiracial as an advantage, much more than 32 percent of single-race whites and 15 percent of single-race Asians who see their race as being an advantage.