What's it like growing up mixed race in the UK?

Last updated at 16:27
Tillie a.k.a Chloe from CBBC's Almost Never.

More and more people in the UK are mixed race, including famous celebrities like Meghan Markle and Zayn Malik.

In fact, between the years 2001 and 2011 - the last time a survey of the UK, called the census, took place - the number almost doubled.

The next time the census will happen is in 2021 and it's expected there'll be a big increase again.

Have a read and a watch of these young people talking about there experiences and leave us your comments below.

What does 'mixed race' mean?

Being mixed race can mean different things to different people.

Usually your parents and/or your grandparents are of different races or ethnicities. Sometimes the terms biracial, dual heritage and mixed heritage are used instead.

It can mean you get to enjoy the best bits of the different countries and cultures that your relatives have roots in, but it can also mean that you might stand out and look different from some of your family members and friends.

Newsround joined up with the BBC's news show for young people in Africa, What's New?, to speak to kids with African heritage and to find out what it's like growing up mixed race.

Tillie a.k.a. Chloe from CBBC's Almost Never
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WATCH: Tillie a.k.a. Almost Never's Chloe - 'It was like I was bad for having big hair.'

Tillie enjoys her mixed race identity but she had struggles when she was growing up.

Her dad's from Ghana and her mum's from England.

It's made me tougher and stronger, and want to embrace where I'm from even more.


At school she was once excluded from P.E. for having big hair and some of her friends didn't believe she was mixed race.

But Tillie overcame her struggles and now she embraces her identity, and her heritage, more than ever.

Elouan and Amandine
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WATCH: Elouan and Amandine - 'People can't pronounce my name.'

Brother and sister Elouan and Amandine have family from Wales, France and Cameroon.

It means they speak different languages, enjoy different types of food at home and when it comes to football, they have a big advantage when picking which team to support!

His friend said he doesn't like brown people. It made me feel quite sad and upset.


But Elouan also feels like he stands out and feels different to other people.

Their mum is also mixed race and felt she stood out when she grew up in Africa but for different reasons.

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WATCH: Karim - 'I can feel misunderstood.'

Karim lives with his brothers and parents in London.

His father's family is from Morocco and his mum is from Spain.

I can speak Spanish, English, a bit of Arabic and French.


Having family from different places means he can speak many languages and gets to enjoy lots of different types of food.

But it can also mean looking different to his cousins and sometimes feeling misunderstood by people.

Monifa and Naima
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WATCH: Monifa and Naima - 'Someone called me grey!'

Monifa and Naima's dad is from Nigeria and their mum is from England.

When they were very little they lived in South Africa and being mixed race there was a different experience to what it's like now living in the UK.

They'd pass me around as they were excited that there was a mixed race baby with them.


A big part of their life is having hair that's different from most of their friends' hair.

Some people used to touch and play with it and though it used to irritate Monifa at first, now she doesn't mind as much.

Co-commissioned by BBC's What's New? and Newsround. Produced by Nora Fakim and Sameena Misbahuddin.


This entry is now closed for comments.

  • View all (9)
  • Comment number 9. Posted by Sunbeamsunset11

    25 Mar 2019 16:04
    I am one of Naima's friends and I think it is horrible when people are treated differently because of their skin colour and/or race. Everyone should be proud of who they are!
  • Comment number 8. Posted by U17595644

    24 Mar 2019 17:06
    I am mixed race, Jamaican and British + Canadian, and I'm like all other children and i don't see why people are discriminated for this. I am very light and many times people don't believe i am mixed race so i have to prove it, which i find very upsetting that people don't believe me when i say my background.
  • Comment number 7. Posted by U17587018

    20 Mar 2019 16:43
    Being mixed race is cool because you can learn both sides of your culture. I am half Ghanaian and half British. I look different to my friends but I am happy about that and am proud to be me. Sometimes friends have asked questions why I have brown skin because my mum has white skin and I am happy to explain that I am a mix of both parents skin colours. One day I want to travel to Ghana.
    Age 7 years. Xxxx
  • Comment number 6. Posted by U17576282

    19 Mar 2019 19:28
    If you are or aren’t mixed race you should always stick to being yourself and belive in yourself! ☺️✨
  • Comment number 5. Posted by U17580569

    18 Mar 2019 19:04
    I am half Nigerian 🇳🇬 Half British
    Sometimes I feel that I don’t fit in because I live in England but I am black but if I go to Nigeria I am worried that my skin will be too light. But being mixed race is cool 😎 because you are different to everyone else and people ask about you!
  • Comment number 4. Posted by U17580253

    18 Mar 2019 17:24
    I'm not mixed race but I am Ghanain and it is tough sometimes to fit in, especially with the hair, but you just have to carry on being you, :)

  • Comment number 3. Posted by hairstable9

    18 Mar 2019 17:19
    I'm half Northern Irish and half Nigerian. That makes me mixed race and I also have massive hair. I remember it was my school Christmas play and one girl said " The reason why you weren't chosen as Mary was because she had straight hair not curly". That hurt my quite a lot but my mum said you should be proud of your hair.🇳🇬🇬🇧
  • Comment number 2. Posted by cupcakerainbowcat

    18 Mar 2019 15:54
    im not mixed race but i don't think there's anything wrong with being it so i think if your mixed race u should be who you want to be and not let your skin colour make and difference
  • Comment number 1. Posted by BrownieQueen

    18 Mar 2019 7:14
    I'm 3/4 British and 1/4 Filipino.