In 2000, when the government first allowed people to identify themselves as more than one race on the U.S. Census, the results revealed that there were nearly 7 million multiracial people living in the country. This year, mixed-race kids (under 18) make up the fastest-growing segment of the population.

THE BEAUTY — AND CHALLENGES — OF BEING MULTI-ETHNIC

ANN CURRY, Cherokee, French, German, Irish, Japanese, Scottish

My face announces to the world that I come from a long line of very open-minded lovers."

ALICIA KEYS, African-American, Irish, Italian

"I was fortunate to grow up in New York, a city full of diversity. Being of mixed heritage helped me relate to many kinds of people. It made me proud to be who I am."

SEAN LENNON, English, Japanese

"If, like me, you are Japanese and English, you will in Japan be considered white, and in America be considered Asian. This can be lonely at times."

KIMORA LEE SIMMONS, African-American, Japanese, Korean

"Mixed-race beauties are now celebrated, whereas before we were labeled. Diversity is fabulous."

BARACK OBAMA, English, Cherokee, Irish, Kenyan, Scottish

"[During the holidays], it's like a mini United Nations. I've got relatives who look like Bernie Mac, and I've got relatives who look like Margaret Thatcher."

RACE LEXICON: NAMING A DIVERSE POPULATION

Amexica

Definition: The zone where the U.S. and Mexico share a border, culture, and language.
The Economist, October 1995

Babalog

Definition: A young, Westernized Indian concerned with wealth, appearance, and superficialities.
Times of India, 2004

Cablinasian

Definition: A mix of Caucasian, black, Indian, and Asian.
Tiger Woods describing himself on Oprah, 1997

Halfrican American

Definition: Half African-American.
Rush Limbaugh referring to Barack Obama and Halle Berry on The Rush Limbaugh Show, 2007

Hapa

Definition: The Hawaiian term for a racially mixed Asian.
The New York Times, 1989

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