Friday, May 11, 2007

Are biracial people less happy? With all this talk about Obama's racial identity and his depression, I was interested in this question. I used General Social Survey data to construct two variables: 1) people who say their ancestors are 1st from Africa and 2nd from some white country, versus all others, and 2) people who say their ancestors are 1st from some white country and 2nd from Africa, versus all others. The former I will call "black-whites" and the latter will be "white-blacks."

By the way, the numbers of these biracial people who put black first is twice as large as those who put white first, and the percent of these folks who said "black" when simply asked their race was 88% for the white-blacks and 93% for the black-whites. Here are the percentages for happiness:

Percent very happy

Unmixed whites 33.2
Unmixed blacks 20.9
Unmixed others 30.1
Black-whites 20.9
White-blacks 24.8

The second answer-choice is "pretty happy", but let's look at the third choice--"not too happy":

Percent not too happy

Unmixed whites 9.2
Unmixed blacks 23.6
Unmixed others 11.9
Black-whites 15.6
White-blacks 23.8

Biracials--both black-whites and white-blacks--have low levels of happiness, but not lower than unmixed blacks. But we can't tell from these numbers if the causes of the similar levels are the same or not.

Black-white differences in glaucoma

Glaucoma is a progressive condition caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors and is the leading cause of irreversible bl...