What the Data Say About Race, Ethnicity and American Youth
In 2016, 51% of the nation’s child population was described as white. Beyond this group, 25% of children were described as Hispanic or Latino; 14% as black or African-American; 5% as Asian; 4% as multiracial; 1% as American Indian or Native Alaskan; and less than 0.5% as Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.
The nation’s child population is more diverse than its total population. One factor increasing diversity among children is immigration. Another contributing factor? An increase in interracial relationships, which has boosted the percentage of multiracial kids nationwide.
For an analysis of racial and ethnic disparities among children, see Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children.
The Census Bureau — our nation’s primary source of population data — has changed how it measures race and ethnicity over time. Today, the bureau tracks five categories: 1) white; 2) black or African-American; 3) American Indian or Alaska native; 4) Asian; and 5) native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.
Since the 2000 Census, respondents have been able to identify as more than one race. Separately, the bureau also tracks how many people identify as Hispanic, which is a designation that can apply to individuals of any racial category.