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Miscegenation (/mɪˌsɛəˈnʃən/ mih-SEJ-ə-NAY-shən) is marriage or admixture between people who are members of different races.[1] The word, now usually considered pejorative, is derived from a combination of the Latin terms miscere ('to mix') and genus ('race' or 'kind').[2] The word first appeared in Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the Races, Applied to the American White Man and Negro, an anti-abolitionist pamphlet David Goodman Croly and others published anonymously in advance of the 1864 presidential election in the United States.[2][3] The term came to be associated with laws that banned interracial marriage and sex, which were known as anti-miscegenation laws.[4] These laws were overruled federally in 1967, and by the year 2000, all states including Alabama had removed them from their laws. In the 21st century, newer scientific data shows that human populations are actually genetically quite similar. Studies show that races are more of an arbitrary social construct, and do not actually have a major genetic delineation.[5]

Although the term "miscegenation" was formed from the Latin for "mixing races/kinds", and it could therefore be perceived as being value-neutral, it is almost always a pejorative term which is used by people who believe in racial superiority or purity,[6] and possibly intended to be negative in the erroneous belief that it derives from the prefix mis-. Less loaded terms for multiethnic relationships, such as interethnic or interracial marriage, and mixed-race, multiethnic, or multiracial people, are more common in contemporary usage.


In the present day, the use of the word miscegenation is avoided by many scholars because the term suggests that race is a concrete biological phenomenon, rather than a categorization which is imposed on certain relationships. The term's historical usage in contexts which typically implied disapproval is also a reason why more unambiguously neutral terms such as interracial, interethnic or cross-cultural are more common in contemporary usage.[7] The term remains in use among scholars when referring to past practices concerning multiraciality, such as anti-miscegenation laws that banned interracial marriages.[8]

In Spanish, Portuguese, and French, the words used to describe the mixing of races are mestizaje, mestiçagem, and métissage respectively. These words, much older than the term miscegenation, are derived from the Late Latin mixticius for "mixed", which is also the root of the Spanish word mestizo. (Portuguese also uses miscigenação, derived from the same Latin root as the English word.) These non-English terms for "race-mixing" are not considered as offensive as "miscegenation", although they have historically been tied to the caste system (casta) that was established during the colonial era in Spanish-speaking Latin America.

Today, the mixes among races and ethnicities are diverse, so it is considered preferable to use the term "mixed-race" or simply "mixed" (mezcla). In Portuguese-speaking Latin America (i.e., Brazil), a milder form of caste system existed, although it also provided for legal and social discrimination among individuals belonging to different races, since slavery for black people existed until the late 19th century. Intermarriage occurred significantly from the very first settlements to the present day, affording mixed people upward mobility in Brazil for Black Brazilians, a phenomenon known as the "mulatto escape hatch".[9] To this day, there are controversies regarding whether the Brazilian class system would[clarification needed] be drawn mostly around socioeconomic lines, not racial ones (in a manner similar to other former Portuguese colonies). Conversely, people classified in censuses as black, brown ("pardo") or indigenous have disadvantaged social indicators in comparison to the white population.[10][11]

The concept of miscegenation is tied to concepts of racial difference. As the different connotations and etymologies of miscegenation and mestizaje suggest, definitions of race, "race mixing" and multiraciality have diverged globally as well as historically, depending on changing social circumstances and cultural perceptions. Mestizo are people of mixed white and indigenous, usually Amerindian ancestry, who do not self-identify as indigenous peoples or Native Americans. In Canada, however, the Métis, who also have partly Amerindian and partly white, often French Canadian, ancestry, have identified as an ethnic group and are a constitutionally recognized aboriginal people.

Interracial marriages are often disparaged in racial minority communities as well.[12] Data from the Pew Research Center has shown that African Americans are twice as likely as white Americans to believe that interracial marriage "is a bad thing".[13] There is a considerable amount of scientific literature that demonstrates similar patterns.[14][15]

The differences between related terms and words which encompass aspects of racial admixture show the impact of different historical and cultural factors leading to changing social interpretations of race and ethnicity. Thus the Comte de Montlosier, in exile during the French Revolution, equated class difference in 18th-century France with racial difference. Borrowing Boulainvilliers' discourse on the "Nordic race" as being the French aristocracy that invaded the plebeian "Gauls", he showed his contempt for the lowest social class, the Third Estate, calling it "this new person born of slaves ... a mixture of all races and of all times".[citation needed]

Etymological history[edit]

Hoax pamphlet "Miscegenation" that coined the term miscegenation

Miscegenation comes from the Latin miscere, 'to mix' and genus, 'kind'.[16] The word was coined in an anonymous propaganda pamphlet published in New York City in December 1863, during the American Civil War. The pamphlet was entitled Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the Races, Applied to the American White Man and Negro.[17] It purported to advocate the intermarriage of whites and blacks until they were indistinguishably mixed, as desirable, and further asserted that this was a goal of the Republican Party.

The pamphlet was a hoax, concocted by Democrats to discredit the Republicans by imputing to them what were then radical views that would offend the vast majority of whites, even those who opposed slavery. The issue of miscegenation, raised by the opponents of Abraham Lincoln, featured prominently in the election campaign of 1864. In his fourth debate with Stephen A. Douglas, Lincoln took great care to emphasise that he supported the law of Illinois which forbade "the marrying of white people with negroes".[18]

The pamphlet and variations on it were reprinted widely in both the North and South by Democrats and Confederates. Only in November 1864, after Lincoln had won the election, was the pamphlet exposed in the United States as a hoax. It was written by David Goodman Croly, managing editor of the New York World, a Democratic Party paper, and George Wakeman, a World reporter. By then, the word miscegenation had entered the common language of the day as a popular buzzword in political and social discourse.

Before the publication of Miscegenation, the words racial intermixing and amalgamation were used as general terms for ethnic and racial genetic mixing. Contemporary usage of the amalgamation metaphor, borrowed from metallurgy, was that of Ralph Waldo Emerson's private vision in 1845 of America as an ethnic and racial smelting-pot, a variation on the concept of the melting pot.[19] Opinions in the U.S. on the desirability of such intermixing, including that between white Protestants and Irish Catholic immigrants, were divided. The term miscegenation was coined to refer specifically to the intermarriage of blacks and whites, with the intent of galvanizing opposition to the war.

In Spanish America, the term mestizaje, which is derived from mestizo, a term used to describe a person who is the offspring of an Indigenous American and a European. The primary reason why there are so few indigenous peoples of Central and South America remaining is because of the persistent and pervasive miscegenation between the Iberian colonists and the indigenous American population, which is the most common admixture of ethnicities found in the genetic tests of present-day Latinos.[20][21] This explains why Latinos in North America, the vast majority of whom are immigrants or descendants of immigrants from Central and South America,[dubiousdiscuss] carry an average of 18% Native American ancestry, and 65.1% European ancestry (mostly from the Iberian Peninsula).[22][23]

Laws banning miscegenation[edit]

Laws banning "race-mixing" were enforced in certain U.S. states until 1967 (but they were still on the books in some states until 2000),[24] in Nazi Germany (the Nuremberg Laws) from 1935 until 1945, and in South Africa during the apartheid era (1949–1985). All of these laws primarily banned marriage between persons who were members of different racially or ethnically defined groups, which was termed "amalgamation" or "miscegenation" in the U.S. The laws in Nazi Germany and the laws in many U.S. states, as well as the laws in South Africa, also banned sexual relations between such individuals.

In the United States, various state laws prohibited marriages between whites and blacks, and in many states, they also prohibited marriages between whites and Native Americans as well as marriages between whites and Asians.[25] In the U.S., such laws were known as anti-miscegenation laws. From 1913 until 1948, 30 out of the then 48 states enforced such laws.[26] Although an "Anti-Miscegenation Amendment" to the United States Constitution was proposed in 1871, in 1912–1913, and again in 1928,[27][28] no nationwide law against racially mixed marriages was ever enacted. In 1967, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Loving v. Virginia that anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional. With this ruling, these laws were no longer in effect in the remaining 16 states which still had them.

The Nazi ban on interracial sexual relations and marriages was enacted in September 1935 as part of the Nuremberg Laws, the Gesetz zum Schutze des deutschen Blutes und der deutschen Ehre (The Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour). The Nuremberg Laws classified Jews as a race, and they also forbade extramarital sexual relations and marriages between persons who were classified as "Aryans" and persons who were classified as "non-Aryans". Violations of these laws were condemned as Rassenschande (lit. "race-disgrace/race-shame") and they could be punished by imprisonment (usually followed by deportation to a concentration camp) and could even be punished by death.

The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act in South Africa, enacted in 1949, banned intermarriages between members of different racial groups, including intermarriages between whites and non-whites. The Immorality Act, enacted in 1950, also made it a criminal offense for a white person to have any sexual relations with a person who was a member of a different race. Both of these laws were repealed in 1985.


Interracial relationships have profoundly influenced various regions throughout history. Africa has had a long history of interracial mixing with non-Africans, since prehistoric times, with migrations from the Levant leading to significant admixture. This continued into antiquity with Arab and European explorers, traders, and soldiers having relationships with African women. Mixed-race communities like the Coloureds in South Africa and Basters in Namibia emerged from these unions.

In the Americas and Asia, similar patterns of interracial relationships and communities formed. In the US, historical taboos and laws against interracial marriage evolved, culminating in the landmark Loving v. Virginia case in 1967. Latin America, particularly Brazil, has a rich history of racial mixing, reflected in its diverse population. In Asia, countries like India, China, and Japan experienced interracial unions through trade, colonization, and migration, contributing to diverse genetic and cultural landscapes.

In Europe, Nazi Germany's anti-miscegenation laws sought to maintain "racial purity," specifically targeting Jewish-German unions. Hungary and France saw mixed marriages through historical conquests and colonialism, such as between Vietnamese men and French women during the early 20th century.

In Oceania, particularly Australia and New Zealand, dynamics varied; Australia had policies like the White Australia policy and practices affecting Indigenous populations, while New Zealand saw significant Māori and European intermarriages. In the Middle East, inter-ethnic relationships were common, often involving Arab and non-Arab unions. Portuguese colonies encouraged mixed marriages to integrate populations, notably seen in Brazil and other territories, resulting in diverse, multicultural societies.

Demographics of ethnoracial admixture[edit]


According to the U.S. Census,[29] in 2000 there were 504,119 Asian–white marriages, 287,576 black-white marriages, and 31,271 Asian–black marriages. The black–white marriages increased from 65,000 in 1970 to 403,000 in 2006,[30] and 558,000 in 2010,[31] according to Census Bureau figures.[32]

In the United States, rates of interracial cohabitation are significantly higher than those of marriage. Although only 7 percent of married African American men have Caucasian American wives, 13% of cohabitating African American men have Caucasian American partners. 25% of married Asian American women have Caucasian spouses, but 45% of cohabitating Asian American women are with Caucasian American men. Of cohabiting Asian men, slightly over 37% of Asian men have white female partners over 10% married White American women.[33][34] Asian American women and Asian American men who live with a white partner, 40 and 27 percent, respectively (Le, 2006b). In 2008, of new marriages including an Asian man, 80% were to an Asian spouse and 14% to a White spouse; of new marriages involving an Asian woman, 61% were to an Asian spouse and 31% to a White spouse.[35] Almost 30% of Asians and Latinos outmarry, with 86.8 and 90% of these, respectively, being to a white person.[36] According to Karyn Langhorne Folan, "although the most recent census available reported that 70% of African American women are single, African American women have the greatest resistance to marrying 'out' of the race."[37]

One survey revealed that 19% of black males had engaged in sexual activity with white women.[38] A Gallup poll on interracial dating in June 2006 found 75% of Americans approving of a white man dating a black woman, and 71% approving of a black man dating a white woman. Among people between the ages of 18 and 29, the poll found that 95% approved of blacks and whites dating, and about 60% said they had dated someone of a different race.[39] 69% of Hispanics, 52% of blacks, and 45% of whites said they have dated someone of another race or ethnic group.[40] In 1980, just 17% of all respondents said they had dated someone from a different racial background.[41]

Former NAACP President Ben Jealous is the son of a white father and a black mother.

However, according to a study from the University of California at Berkeley, using data from over 1 million profiles of singles from online dating websites, whites were far more reluctant to date outside their race than non-whites. The study found that over 80% of whites, including whites who stated no racial preference, contacted other whites, whereas about 3% of whites contacted blacks, a result that held for younger and older participants. Only 5% of whites responded to inquiries from blacks. Black participants were ten times more likely to contact whites than whites were to contact blacks, however black participants sent inquiries to other blacks more often than otherwise.[42][43]

Interracial marriage is still relatively uncommon, despite the increasing rate. In 2010, 15% of new marriages were interracial, and of those only 9% of Whites married outside of their race. However, this takes into account inter ethnic marriages, this meaning it counts white Hispanics marrying non-Hispanic whites as interracial marriages, despite both bride and groom being racially white. Of the 275,000 new interracial marriages in 2010, 43% were white-Hispanic, 14.4% were white-Asian, 11.9% were white-black and the rest were other combinations.[44] However, interracial marriage has become more common over the past decades due to increasing racial diversity, and liberalizing attitudes toward the practice. The number of interracial marriages in the U.S. increased by 65% between 1990 and 2000, and by 20% between 2000 and 2010.[45] "A record 14.6% of all new marriages in the United States in 2008 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another. ... Rates more than doubled among whites and nearly tripled among blacks between 1980 and 2008. But for both Hispanics and Asians, rates were nearly identical in 2008 and 1980", according to a Pew Research Center analysis of demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau.[46]

According to studies by Jenifer L. Bratter and Rosalind B. King made publicly available on the Education Resources Information Center, White female-Black male and White female-Asian male marriages are more prone to divorce than White-White pairings.[47] Conversely, unions between White males and non-White females (and between Hispanics and non-Hispanic persons) have similar or lower risks of divorce than White-White marriages, unions between white male-black female last longer than white-white pairings or white-Asian pairings.[47]


A Redenção de Cam (Ham's Redemption), Modesto Brocos, 1895, Museu Nacional de Belas Artes. The painting depicts a black grandmother, mulatta mother, white father and their quadroon child, hence three generations of hypergamy through racial whitening.

In the 2022 census, 92.1 million people or 45.3% of Brazil's population identified themselves as "pardos", meaning brown or mixed race.[48] According to some DNA researches, Brazilians predominantly possess some degree of mixed-race ancestry, though less than half of the country's population classified themselves as "pardos" in the census.[49] Multiracial Brazilians live in all regions of Brazil, they are mainly people of mixed European, African, East Asian (mostly Japanese) and Amerindian ancestry.

Interracial marriages constituted 22.6% of all marriages in 2000. 15.7% of blacks, 24.4% of whites and 27.6% of Pardos (mixed-race/brown) married someone whose race was different from their own.[50]

Genetic admixture[edit]

Sexual reproduction between two populations reduces the genetic distance between the populations. During the Age of Discovery which began in the early 15th century, European explorers sailed all across the globe reaching all the major continents. In the process they came into contact with many populations that had been isolated for thousands of years. The Tasmanian Aboriginals were one of the most isolated groups on the planet.[51] Many died from disease and conflict, but a number of their descendants survive today as multiracial people of Tasmanian and European descent. This is an example of how modern migrations may reduce the genetic divergence of the human species, which would usually lead to speciation.

New World demographics were radically changed within a short time following the voyage of Columbus.[51] The colonization of the Americas brought Native Americans into contact with the distant populations of Europe, Africa and Asia.[51] As a result, many countries in the Americas have significant and complex multiracial populations.

Admixture in the United States[edit]

Genetic studies indicate that many African-Americans possess varying degrees of European admixture, although it is suggested that the Native American admixture in African-Americans is exaggerated. Some estimates from studies indicated that many of the African-Americans who took part, had European admixture ranging from 25-50% in the Northeast and less than 10% in the South (where a vast majority of the population reside).[52][53] A 2003 study by Mark D. Shriver of a European-American sample found that the average admixture in the individuals who participated was 0.7% African and 3.2% Native American. However, 70% of the sample had no African admixture. The other 30% had African admixture ranging from 2% to 20% with an average of 2.3%. By extrapolating these figures to the whole population some scholars suggest that up to 74 million European-Americans may have African admixture in the same range (2–20%).[54][55] Recently J.T. Frudacas, Shriver's partner in DNA Print Genomics, contradicted him stating "Five percent of European Americans exhibit some detectable level of African ancestry."[56]

Within the African-American population, the amount of African admixture is directly correlated with darker skin since less selective pressure against dark skin is applied within the group of "non-passing" individuals. Thus, African-Americans may have a much wider range of African admixture (>0–100%), whereas European-Americans have a lower range (2–20%).

The Trapper's Bride shows a trapper, Francois, paying $600 in trade goods for an Indian woman to be his wife, ca. 1837

A statistical analysis done in 1958 using historical census data and historical data on immigration and birth rates concluded that 21% of the white population had black ancestors. The growth in the White population could not be attributed to births in the White population and immigration from Europe alone, but had received significant contribution from the African American population as well.[57] The author states in 1958:

The data presented in this study indicate that the popular belief in the non-African background of white persons is invalid. Over twenty-eight million white persons are descendants of persons of African origin. Furthermore, the majority of the persons with African ancestry are classified as White.

A 2003 study on Y-chromosomes and mtDNA detected no African admixture in the European-Americans who took part in it. The sample included 628 European-American Y-chromosomes and mtDNA from 922 European-Americans[58] According to a genome-wide study by 23andMe, White Americans (European Americans) who participated were: "98.6 percent European, 0.19 percent African and 0.18 percent Native American on average."[52]

In the United States, intermarriage among Filipinos with other races is common. They have the largest number of interracial marriages among Asian immigrant groups, as documented in California.[59] It is also noted that 21.8% of Filipino Americans are of mixed blood, second among Asian Americans, and is the fastest growing.[60]

Admixture in Latin America[edit]


Prior to the European conquest of the Americas the demographics of Latin America was naturally 100% American Indian. Today those who identify themselves as Native Americans are small minorities in many countries. For example, the CIA lists Argentina's at 0.9%, Brazil's at 0.4%, and Uruguay's at 0%.[61] However, the range varies widely from country to country in Latin America with some countries having significantly larger Amerindian minorities.

Depiction of casta system in Mexico, 18th century

The early conquest of Latin America was primarily carried out by male soldiers and sailors from Spain and Portugal. Since they carried very few European women on their journeys the new settlers married and fathered children with Amerindian women and also with women taken by force from Africa. This process of miscegenation was even encouraged by the Spanish Monarchy and it led to the system of stratification known as the Casta. This system had Europeans (Spaniards and Portuguese) at the top of the hierarchy followed by those of mixed race. Unmixed Blacks and Native Americans were at the bottom. A philosophy of whitening, an example of scientific racism in favor of white supremacy, emerged in which Amerindian and African culture were stigmatized in favor of European values. Many Amerindian languages were lost as mixed race offspring adopted Spanish and Portuguese as their first languages. Only towards the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century did large numbers of Europeans begin to migrate to South America and consequently altering its demographics.

In addition many Africans were shipped to regions all over the Americas and were present in many of the early voyages of the conquistadors. Brazil has the largest population of African descendants outside Africa. Other countries such as Jamaica, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador still have sizeable populations identified as Black. However countries such as Argentina do not have a visible African presence today. Census information from the early 19th century shows that people categorized as Black made up to 30% of the population, or around 400,000 people.[62] Though almost completely absent today, their contribution to Argentine culture is significant and include the tango, the milonga and the zamba, words of Bantu origin.[63]

Demographics of Brazil in 1835, 1940, 2000 and 2008[64][65]
Year White Brown Black
1835 24.4% 18.2% 51.4%
1940 64% 21% 14%
2000 53.7% 38.5% 6.2%
2008 48.8% 43.8% 6.5%

The ideology of whitening encouraged non-whites to seek white or lighter skinned partners. This dilution of non-white admixture would be beneficial to their offspring as they would face less stigmatization and find it easier to assimilate into mainstream society. After successive generations of European gene flow, non-white admixture levels would drop below levels at which skin color or physical appearance is not affected thus allowing individuals to identify as White. In many regions, the native and black populations were simply overwhelmed by a succession of waves of European immigration.

Historians and scientists are thus interested in tracing the fate of Native Americans and Africans from the past to the future. The questions remain about what proportion of these populations simply died out and what proportion still has descendants alive today including those who do not racially identify themselves as their ancestors would have. Admixture testing has thus become a useful objective tool in shedding light on the demographic history of Latin America.

Recent studies[edit]

A Spaniard plays with his mixed-race daughter while his Mulatta wife looks on, Miguel Cabrera, 1763, Colonial Mexico.

Unlike in the United States, there were no anti-miscegenation policies in Latin America. Though still a racially stratified society there were no significant barriers to gene flow between the three populations. As a result, admixture profiles are a reflection of the colonial populations of Africans, Europeans and Amerindians. The pattern is also sex biased in that the African and Amerindian maternal lines are found in significantly higher proportions than African or Amerindian Y chromosomal lines. This is an indication that the primary mating pattern was that of European males with Amerindian or African females. According to the study more than half the White populations of the Latin American countries studied have some degree of either Native American or African admixture (MtDNA or Y chromosome). In countries such as Chile and Colombia almost the entire white population was shown to have some non-white admixture.[66][67][68][69]

Frank Moya Pons, a Dominican historian documented that Spanish colonists intermarried with Taíno women, and, over time, these mestizo descendants intermarried with Africans, creating a tri-racial Creole culture. 1514 census records reveal that 40% of Spanish men in the colony of Santo Domingo had Taíno wives.[70] A 2002 study conducted in Puerto Rico suggests that over 61% of the population possess Amerindian mtDNA.[71]

Admixture in the Philippines[edit]

Historically, admixture has been a common phenomenon in the Philippines. The Philippines were originally settled by Australoid peoples called Negritos which now form the country's aboriginal community. Admixture occurred between this earlier group and the mainstream Malayo-Polynesian population.[72]

There has been Indian migration to and influence in the Philippines since the precolonial era. About 25% of the words in the Tagalog language are Sanskrit terms and about 5% of the country's population possess Indian ancestry from antiquity.[73] There has been a Chinese presence in the Philippines since the 9th century. However, large-scale migrations of Chinese to the Philippines only started during the Spanish colonial era, when the world market was opened to the Philippines. It is estimated that among Filipinos, 10%–20% have some Chinese ancestry and 1.5% are "full-blooded" Chinese.[74]

According to the American anthropologist Dr. H. Otley Beyer, the ancestry of Filipinos is 2% Arab. This dates back to when Arab traders intermarried with the local Malay Filipina female populations during the pre-Spanish history of the Philippines.[75] A recent genetic study by Stanford University indicates that at least 3.6% of the population are European or of part European descent from both Spanish and United States colonization.[76]

Admixture among the Romani people[edit]

Interior of a Roma's house in Brazil c. 1820, by Debret
Romani dancers in Romania

Genetic evidence has shown that the Romani people ("Gypsies") originated from the Indian subcontinent and mixed with the local populations in Central Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. In the 1990s, it was discovered that Romani populations carried large frequencies of particular Y chromosomes (inherited paternally) that otherwise exist only in populations from South Asia, in addition to fairly significant frequencies of particular mitochondrial DNA (inherited maternally) that is rare outside South Asia.

47.3% of Romani males carry Y chromosomes of haplogroup H-M82 which is rare outside of the Indian subcontinent.[77] Mitochondrial haplogroup M, most common in Indian subjects and rare outside Southern Asia, accounts for nearly 30% of Romani people.[77] A more detailed study of Polish Romani shows this to be of the M5 lineage, which is specific to India.[78] Moreover, a form of the inherited disorder congenital myasthenia is found in Romani subjects. This form of the disorder, caused by the 1267delG mutation, is otherwise only known in subjects of Indian ancestry. This is considered to be the best evidence of the Indian ancestry of the Romanies.[79]

The Romanis have been described as "a conglomerate of genetically isolated founder populations",[80] while a number of common Mendelian disorders among Romanies from all over Europe indicates "a common origin and founder effect".[80] See also this table:[81]

A study from 2001 by Gresham et al. suggests "a limited number of related founders, compatible with a small group of migrants splitting from a distinct caste or tribal group".[82] Also the study pointed out that "genetic drift and different levels and sources of admixture, appear to have played a role in the subsequent differentiation of populations".[82] The same study found that "a single lineage ... found across Romani populations, accounts for almost one-third of Romani males. A similar preservation of a highly resolved male lineage has been reported elsewhere only for Jewish priests".[82] See also the Cohen Modal Haplotype.

A 2004 study by Morar et al. concluded that the Romani are "a founder population of common origins that has subsequently split into multiple socially divergent and geographically dispersed Gypsy groups".[79] The same study revealed that this population "was founded approximately 32–40 generations ago, with secondary and tertiary founder events occurring approximately 16–25 generations ago".[79]

Admixture in South Africa[edit]

Coloured people as a proportion of the total population in South Africa.
  •   0–20%
  •   20–40%
  •   40–60%
  •   60–80%
  •   80–100%

Coloureds (Afrikaans: Kleurlinge or Bruinmense, lit. "Brown people") are a multiracial ethnic group native to Southern Africa who have ancestry from more than one of the various populations inhabiting the region, including Khoisan, Bantu, European, Austronesian, East Asian or South Asian. Because of the combination of ethnicities, different families and individuals within a family may have a variety of different physical features.[83][84] Coloured was a legally defined racial classification during apartheid.[84][85] In the Western Cape, a distinctive Cape Coloured and affiliated Cape Malay culture developed. In other parts of Southern Africa, people classified as Coloured were usually the descendants of individuals from two distinct ethnicities. Genetic studies suggest the group has the highest levels of mixed ancestry in the world.[86][87] Mitochondrial DNA studies have demonstrated that the maternal lines of the Coloured population are descended mostly from African Khoisan women. This ethnicity shows a gender-biased admixture.[88][89] While a plurality of male lines have come from Ngunis, Southern African, West African and East African populations, 45.2%, Western European lineages contributed 37.3% to paternal components and South Asian/ Southeast Asian lineages 17.5%.[88][89]

Coloureds are to be mostly found in the western part of South Africa. In Cape Town, they form 45.4% of the total population, according to the South African National Census of 2011.[90]: 56–59 

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ a b Harper, Douglas. "miscegenation". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Miscegenation; the theory of the blending of the races, applied to the American white man and negro". Library of Congress. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  4. ^ Downing, Karen; Nichols, Darlene; Webster, Kelly (2005). Multiracial America: A Resource Guide on the History and Literature of Interracial Issues. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-8108-5199-3.
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  6. ^ Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 2002. Retrieved 11 July 2020. The term is used esp. by people who believe in concepts of racial superiority or racial purity and therefore object to interracial relationships ....
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