Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Six million self-described whites have African American ancestry; numbers are highest in South

About 6 million Americans who describe themselves as white actually have African American ancestry within the past seven generations, says a study published in Science Direct, Christopher Ingraham reports for The Washington Post. Overall, 3.5 percent of Americans who describe themselves as white have African ancestry, with the numbers highest in the South, where 12 percent of self-described whites in Louisiana and South Carolina have African ancestry; the number is about 10 percent in some other Southern states.

The study was conducted by using the genetic records of 148,739 European Americans who submitted a cheek swab for testing, says the study. Testing was also done on 5,269 self-described African Americans and 8,663 Latinos.

The study found "that people who were 15 percent African or less generally didn't describe themselves as African American, while those who were 50 percent African or greater almost universally did," Ingraham writes. "But in between there was a considerable amount of variation. Those who were about one quarter African were just as likely as not to call themselves African-American." (Read more) (Post map)

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