Over 3.5 per cent of births in England and Wales in 2005 were mixed-race babies
Hidden in the recent news that numbers of ethnic minorities in the UK will grow from 8 to 20 per cent of the population in 2051 is that fact that with the 'other white' ethnic group growing fast and fuelled by expected high levels of immigration from Europe, Australasia and the US, the percentage of people identifying themselves as being of 'mixed race' is expected to grow substantially from the figure of 1.2 per cent of the population in the 2001 census to as high as 4.2 per cent.
Over 3.5 per cent of births in England and Wales in 2005 were mixed-race babies, and the group is predicted to overtake Indians as the largest minority group by 2020. This story is being repeated all over the Western world, especially in those countries that already have high levels of multicultural populations. For example, multiracial US Americans officially numbered 6.1 million in 2006, allowing for some margin for error due to some ethnic groupings that classify themselves differently.
Opponents of interracial relationships and trans-racial adoption have for years claimed that the well-being of minority children depends upon their development of a strong sense of ethnic identity, but it is very doubtful that they envisaged a group that would arise that accepts multiple ethnic identities! Members of this strongly growing multi-heritage group are starting to identify themselves as such - rejecting the 'tragic mulatto', 'culturally confused' and 'genetically impure' images that have typically been portrayed in the past.
The discussions in and out of the press about President Obama's and Tiger Woods's racial classification, both in the UK and the USA, is further evidence of the growing number of people who are rejecting the 'one drop' rule that has pervaded both countries' racial classification mentalities for decades. Facebook has over 50 pages/groups dedicated to interracial and multiple-heritage interests, and a web search will reveal many websites dedicated to such matters.
A new website and a subsequent book, Mixed in Different Shades, aim to supplement these sources by exploring the history and experiences of people of mixed heritage all over the world. The project is not a scholarly social study, but aims to be popularly accessible to a wide range of people; it will cover, among other things, communities such as the Métis of the USA and Canada, and the Chestnut Ridge People and Melungeon in the USA, as well as the controversially named 'Coloureds' of southern Africa, which are the result of interracial mixing and have existed for decades. It will add another dimension to the multiple heritage experience for those exploring this fascinating subject.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. 'Mixed In Different Shades' (http://www.mixedindifferentshades.net/) is a project with a website and blog, as a precursor to a book and possibly a documentary series, that aims to inform and educate people, particularly those of mixed heritage or involved in interracial relationships, about the history and experiences of mixed race/heritage people around the world. This project aims to tap into the growing awareness and sense of identity that people of mixed heritage are experiencing, particularly in the West.
Name: Benjamin Ellis
Mobile : +44 750 192 7234
3. Reference Links
1. Mixed In Different Shades:
2. Ethnic population projections for the UK and local areas, 2001-2051:
3. Mixed (Wikipedia):
4. Multiracial American (Wikipedia) :
5. UK's ethnic minority numbers 'to rise to 20 per cent by 2051':
6. Ethnic minorities to make up 20 per cent of UK population by 2051:
7. Mixed race 'fastest growing minority':
8. 21st-century Britons are no longer either black or white:
9. Mixed-race family rise 'dramatic':
10. Tories vow to remove inter-racial taboo in adoption:
11. Race dilemma at the heart of our adoption crisis:
12. The ideological attack on trans-racial adoption in the USA and Britain:
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