The number of biracial American babies has zoomed upward during the past decade, according to census data, in what analysts call a positive sign for US race relations. The increase has been driven by more interracial couples as well as more parents choosing to identify their kids as mixed-race, the Washington Post reports. Some 7% of kids born a year ahead of the 2010 census were mixed-race, compared to 5% 10 years before that.
What's more, the number of kids born to black and white parents as well as to Asian and white parents doubled. "I think people are more comfortable in identifying themselves, and their children, as mixed race," says a demographer. Kids younger than 15 are far more likely to be considered mixed-race than their older counterparts. And "one out of six kids who used to be thought of as just black will now grow up thinking of themselves as white and black," the analyst adds. "This is a ray of hope that we’re finally moving into an era where this very sharp black-white divide is breaking apart." (Read more biracial stories.)