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The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11135-017-0581-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Globalization and migratory fluxes are increasing the ethnic and racial diversity within many countries. Therefore, describing social dynamics requires models that are apt to capture multi-groups interactions. Building on the assumption of a relationship between multi-racial dynamics and socioeconomic status (SES), we introduce an aggregate, contextual, and continuous index of SES accounting for measures of income, employment, expected life, and group numerosity. After, taking into account that groups’ SES assumes the form of a logit model, we propose a Lotka–Volterra system to study and forecast the interaction among racial groups. Last, we apply our methodology to describe the racial dynamics in the US society. In particular, we study the kind and the intensity of Asians–Blacks–Natives–Whites interactions in the US between 2002 and 2013. Moreover, we forecast the evolution of groups’ SES and how interracial relations will unfold between 2013 and 2018 and in three alternative stylized scenarios.