America's Changing Population: Why It's Time to Consider Multiracial Families in Poverty

For the first time in its history, the United States has a generation that is minority White: generation “Z-plus”, born after 2007. This marks a turning point for America’s racial makeup, and the trend will only continue. According to the most recent population projections published by the U.S. Census Bureau, non-Hispanic Whites will no longer be majority after 2045. What will this mean for discussions of race and inclusion? Specifically, how will this impact racial wealth inequity in our country?

One demographic is increasing at a substantially higher rate than other groups: multiracial individuals. Between 2020 and 2060, the population of individuals who identify with two or more races is projected to increase by almost 200%.

Today, about 16% of families in poverty are multiracial. While there are fewer multiracial families living in poverty compared to monoracial families of color, these families encounter challenges that other racial groups never experience. They may endure a psychological burden associated with raising a multiracial family, in addition to the common stressors of living in poverty. For example, the concept of “imposter syndrome” has been used to describe potential feelings of exclusion experienced by multiracial individuals as they navigate between multiple racial identities.

The experience of being multiracial and in poverty is especially concerning for young children and teens who are more vulnerable to unstable environments during their developmental stages. Today, 20% of children living in poverty are two or more races. Children growing up in poverty are at greater risk of developmental issues and educational setbacks. Coupled with the internal struggle over racial identity at a young age, multiracial children in poverty face one risk factor after the other.

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The new reports on shifting racial demographics in American society also shed light on the distorted state of racial equity in America. Although we are an increasingly diverse nation, there remains a deep economic divide between racial groups. Multiracial families living in poverty often experience intersecting racial, economic and social challenges that leave them behind. However, the unique experience of these families has not been brought into mainstream discussions of the racial wealth divide.

The evidence that our nation is becoming increasingly diverse is irrefutable, and we need to respond. Just as it is necessary to consider topics of financial well-being from a racial equity lens, it is equally imperative to include all racial identities in that conversation.

To stay informed on critical issues affecting America's racial wealth divide, opportunities to advocate, upcoming webinars and more, join our Racial Wealth Equity Network.