The American Indian and Alaskan Native population has grown rapidly since 1950 because of changes in the racial classification of persons with mixed Indian and non-Indian descent. These changes have challenged once common expectations that the Indian population was likely to shrink over time through assimilation. However, in regions of the United States where the recent growth of the Indian population has been particularly sharp most married Indians are married to non-Indians. Fertility rates of women who are part of intermarried couples are lower than fertility rates for Indian women in racially endogamous marriages. The majority of the children of intermarried Indians in high intermarriage regions are labelled with the race of the non-Indian parent. Intermarriage is likely to substantially reduce the long-run impact of changes in identification on the future growth of the Indian population. At the same time, in a few states the American Indian population remains ethnically homogenous and shows no signs of imminent amalgamation into the general American population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science