The fastest growing demographic group in the U.S. is a group of individuals now classified as Multiracial. According to Associated Press, the number of multiracial people rose 3.4 percent in 2008, to about 5.2 million. Since the option was introduced in 2000, Americans who check multiple boxes on census surveys have jumped by 33%, making up 5 percent of the non-white population. As of July 2008, California, Texas, New York and Florida possessed the highest number of multiracial citizens highly attributed to the number of immigrants who marry outside of their cultural group.
This escalating new demographic has many implications which have evoked varying opinions from the public at large. For multiracial people themselves, it’s viewed as advantage, as they are able to fully embrace their complex heritage. 17-year-old Kayci Baldwin from Middletown, N.J. appreciates the government’s sorely belated acknowledgement. “While we are a group that was previously ignored in many ways, we now have an opportunity to fully identify and express ourselves.”
However, there are those who fear that the changing face of America will complicate issues as they pertain to politics and civil rights. According to AP:
“Under new federal rules, many K-12 schools next year will allow students for the first time to indicate if they are ‘two or more races.’ The move is expected to cause shifts in how test scores are categorized, potentially altering race disparities and funding for education programs.”
Change is an inevitable part of life, and with progress always comes struggle. America was founded on the notion of racism as a tool to control. Nevertheless, multiracial individuals are taking control of their identity and challenging the old system. Only time will tell how this new trend will reshape our society as we flow collectively into the future.