As I was reading news online today, I stumbled upon this commentary, which discusses the President-Elect’s recent press conference.
The first sentence made me chuckle, and of course made me think:

“It must be the first time in recorded history that the leader of the Free World has proudly described himself as a “mutt”

Mutt.  In a way, aren’t many of us mutts as well?  Intrigued by all the attention surrounding the President-Elect’s race and the intersection with our own family, I had to do my usual digging.

College was the first time I really had to “categorize” myself, at least in the multiple choice variety.  I still remember being confused with all the paperwork and then that damn ethnicity question—Am I Pacific Islander, Asian or am I non-Hispanic.  So many choices…ummm…I still get confused.

Poor Jack.  Will he be able to check 4 or more boxes when he’s asked about his ethnicity?

Undeniably, our multiracial and multicultural marriage and now, family, is an aspect of life that has had its own contention along the way.  We often make our very inappropriate jokes to each other about our differences (Don’t get me started on Jeff’s Klassy Asian t-shirt.  And, I mean klassy…), but every now and then, we still get ignorant comments from total strangers.   My favorite recent comment was from a cab driver who initiated small talk with, “Aw, is he yours or are you babysitting?”  BABYSITTING?  Are you kidding me?

I joke about it now, but it’s so not funny.

So, with all the talk about race and to do my part to minimize awkward babysitter conversations, I wanted to share the information that I found on the growth and trends of bi-racial families.

  • The 2000 census was the first census that collected and tabulated data on people reporting two or more races, so there isn’t an exact measure of change in the multiracial population.
  • The Census Bureau research shows that the number of children living in mixed-race families has been increasing in the past two decades.
  • In 1970, the number of children living in mixed-race families totaled 460,000. This number increased to 996,070 in 1980 and reached almost 2 million in 1990. In 1990, children in mixed-race households accounted for 4 percent of all children in households.
  • The Census Bureau’s 1996 National Content Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 1995 Current Population Survey Supplement on Race and Ethnicity indicated that, nationwide, less then 2 percent of the population self-identified as multiracial.

Number of Children Living in Mixed-Race Families
Year                                                   Number
1970                                                   460,000
1980                                                   996,070
1990                                                1,937,496

Will people who report two or more races be counted twice? (WTF kind of question is that?)

Answer: No. Individuals will be counted only once. However, in tabulation approaches including the 6 race groups shown alone or in combination with one or more other races, respondents will be tallied in each of the race groups they have reported. For example, people who reported “Asian and Black or African American” would be counted both in the “Asian alone or in combination” population and also in the “Black or African American alone or in combination” population. Consequently, the total of the six alone or in combination groups will exceed the total population whenever some people in the group of interest reported more than one race.


I’m finding this information extremely interesting, y’know, since we have our own ‘mutt’ as Obama described.  I’ll be sure to share more as I dig even deeper.

Tags: , , , ,