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Multiracial Americans are Americans who have mixed ancestry of "two or more races". The term may also include Americans of mixed-race ancestry who self-identify with just one group culturally and socially (cf. the one-drop rule). In the 2010 US census, approximately 9 million individuals, or 2.9% of the population, self-identified as multiracial. There is evidence that an accounting by genetic ancestry would produce a higher number, but people live according to social and cultural identities, not DNA. Historical reasons, including slavery creating a racial caste and the European-American suppression of Native Americans, often led people to identify or be classified by only one ethnicity, generally that of the culture in which they were raised. Prior to the mid-20th century, many people hid their multiracial heritage because of racial discrimination against minorities. While many Americans may be biologically multiracial, they often do not know it or do not identify so culturally, any more than they maintain all the differing traditions of a variety of national ancestries.
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