made about them may err. Second and more important, such projections would have missed the subsequent changes in the social meaning and functioning of the ethnic groups themselves. These changes are discussed in detail in Chapter 8.

As these findings make clear, the ethnic affiliation of Americans in the future is subject to some uncertainty. Today, many people have parents and grandparents who are of the same ethnic origin, using the broad racial and Hispanic groups current today. But a substantial and growing number have links to two or more ethnic ancestries, allowing wide latitude in how they may choose to identify themselves.

To display this blurring of single and multiple ethnic linkages, Table 3.9 displays estimates for single and multiple-ancestry of the current and future U.S. population. Of the 8.8 million persons in 1995 whose primary ethnic identification was Asian, the vast majority (8.1 million) had only Asian ancestry. In addition, there were another 1.5 million persons who reported some Asian ancestry—of whom only 0.7 million self-reported that they were Asian. The net result is that in 1995 there were an additional 800,000 persons who had some Asian an-

TABLE 3.9 Population by Ethnic Groups by Single and Multiple-Ancestry, 1995, 2020, and 2050 (millions)

 

Population by Ancestry

 

Single Ancestry

Multiple-Ancestry

Total: All Ancestries

Percentage Multiple of Total

White

1995

181.7

15.5

197.2

7.9

2020

192.0

24.3

216.3

11.2

2050

167.9

44.8

212.7

21.2

Black

1995

29.4

2.7

32.1

8.4

2020

39.6

4.3

43.9

9.8

2050

49.0

8.0

57.0

14.0

Asian

1995

8.1

1.5

9.6

15.6

2020

17.4

4.1

21.5

19.1

2050

26.7

15.0

41.7

36.0

Hispanic

1995

24.4

4.9

29.3

16.7

2020

43.9

14.2

58.1

24.4

2050

61.7

50.7

112.4

45.1

Totala

1995

245.0

17.8

262.8

6.8

2020

294.5

32.7

327.2

10.0

2050

306.7

80.6

387.3

20.8

a The total population includes American Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement