April 28, 2021: A comparison of the 2000 and the 2010 Census records found that 6% of the U.S. population gave different ethnic and racial responses between the two counts.
Richard Alba, in ''The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority, and the Expanding American Mainstream'' uses this fact as one example showing that ''race and ethnicity are not fixed and obvious in the same way that, say, age is.'' Alba is a distinguished professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.
Alba argues that both census data and popular understandings of race are fundamentally flawed. At the center of the misunderstanding is ''a robust development that is largely unheralded: a surge in the number of young Americans who come from mixed majority-minority families.'' They ''have one white parent and one nonwhite or Hispanic parent.'' Currently, about one out of 10 births in the U.S. come from such parentage. And, that number will keep growing because nearly one out of five new weddings cross racial or ethnic lines.
Adding to the complexity is that people with the same ethnic heritage often have different attitudes depending upon how far removed they are from that heritage. For example, a plurality of Hispanic voters whose parents were both born in the United States favors Republicans on the generic congressional ballot. However, a solid majority of all other Hispanic voters prefers Democrats.
Each weekday, Scott Rasmussen's Number of the Day explores interesting and newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics and technology. Columns published on Ballotpedia reflect the views of the author. Scott Rasmussen's Number of the Day is published by Ballotpedia weekdays at 9 a.m. Eastern. Columns published on Ballotpedia reflect the views of the author. Scott Rasmussen is founder and president of the Rasmussen Media Group. He is the author of "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System," "In Search of Self-Governance," and "The People's Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt." Read Scott Rasmussen's Reports — More Here.
1. Alba, R. (2020) The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority, and the Expanding American Mainstream. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (page 63)
2. Deseret News, "We are misunderstanding the future of race in America," April 18, 2021
3. Deseret News, "The future of race in America isn’t really about race at all," April 26, 2021
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