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Contact: Melanie Deal
Public Information Office
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.
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 multiple-race combinations involving the five race categories and the category “some other race.” The report presents statistics for each of the 57 multiple-race combinations.