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In South, multiracial population surges

Bloomberg News / October 3, 2011

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WASHINGTON - The ranks of multiracial Americans grew fastest in the states that most recently had laws on the books outlawing interracial marriage, the US Census Bureau says.

Nine of the 10 states where the percentage of multiracial, partially white Americans climbed the most were in the South, where interracial marriages were banned before a 1967 Supreme Court decision declared a Virginia prohibition unconstitutional.

Multiracial Americans who are partially white increased by at least 8 percent in every US state from 2000 to 2010. The number of people who described themselves as white, multiracial Americans climbed 112 percent in South Carolina, 111 percent in North Carolina, 93 percent in Georgia, and 81 percent in Mississippi.

The largest percentage of multiracial Americans are white and black, the Census Bureau said. Americans who described themselves as a combination of white and black races made up almost a quarter of the nation’s 9 million multiracial residents. Multiracial Americans make up 2.9 percent of the population, up from 2.4 percent in 2000, the first time Americans were allowed to describe themselves to the government as members of more than one race.