Interracial relationships have been increasing through the years and in no time we might be a giant amalgamated mega-race. National geographic based their 125th anniversary issue on how we will look like in 2050. They called on renowned portrait artist and photographer, Martin Schoeller and writer Lisa Funderburg to capture faces of our multiracial future. This is how an “average American” will look like by 2050:
These numbers will grow in time. The U.S Census Bureau has been collecting detailed data on multiracial people and in 2000, they allowed people to check off more than one race. Around 6.8 million gladly did so and ten years later the number was 32% higher, making it a fast growing category. In the late 18th Century, German scientist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach established limiting racial categories by dividing humans into five “natural varieties”; yellow, red, black, brown and white. The multiple race option by the U.S Consensus Bureau however introduces the self-determination factor. Today’s more accepting world has people with complex cultural and racial origins and who are more playful and fluid with what they call themselves. They use terms like Filatino, Blackanese, Korgentinian and Chicanese.
Tracking racial population through self identification however has flows since so many geographical, cultural and familial factors influence once decision when claiming to be from one or multiple races. The definition of race further complicates things since race has no basis in biology but its functions, constructions and mythologies, constantly shape the world. So will increased racial mixing permanently redefine our imagination of racial identities in the future? According to latest figures we’re either slowly getting comfortable with this idea or maybe it simply doesn’t matter anymore.
A few years back, The Wall Street Journal reported that in the year 2010, 15% of new marriages were between individuals from different races. It’s not clear whether this included same-sex marriages but this number has increased from what it was some 25 years ago. Intermarriage proportions also varied by race with 17% of blacks, 9% of whites, 28% of Asians and 26% of Hispanics marrying outside their racial group. Currently interracial unions account for 8.4% of all U.S marriages.
The growing rates of intermixing are an encouraging symbol of a changing America and if these images are a preview of what will happen, then 2050 is a year worth waiting for.