Minorities now the Majority in Key States in the US
by NeciVelez, Sat Aug 09, 2008 at 03:59:13 AM EDT
No wonder our "Xenophobe in Chief" Lou Dobbs is looking more worried each day. While we Democrats talk of turning red states blue, the demographic map of the rainbow of people who make up the diverse population of the US is shifting, and in many areas of the US, "minorities" (a euphemism for people of color; blacks, latinos, asians and Native Americans) are now the majority.
The US Census Bureau's recent report shows interesting shifts in racial/ethnic demographics.
The NY Times reports:
Minorities Often a Majority of the Population Under 20
Foreshadowing the nation's changing makeup, one in four American counties have passed or are approaching the tipping point where black, Hispanic and Asian children constitute a majority of the under-20 population, according to analyses of census figures released Thursday.
Racial and ethnic minorities now account for 43 percent of Americans under 20. Among people of all ages, minorities make up at least 40 percent of the population in more than one in six of the nation's 3,141 counties.
The latest population changes by race, ethnicity and age, as of July 1, 2007, were generally marginal compared with the year before. But they confirm the breadth of the nation's diversity, and suggest that minorities -- now about a third of the population -- might constitute a majority of all Americans even sooner than projected by census demographers, in 2050.
The Times printed this graphic to accompany their story:
The Wall Street Journal is also covering this shift:
Metropolitan areas across the U.S. continue to get more diverse as minorities, especially Hispanics, increase their share of the population. Figures that were scheduled to be released Thursday by the Census Bureau show that Hispanics continue to spread beyond traditional gateway cities like Los Angeles and New York into other cities, suburbs and rural America. The Hispanic population of St. Joseph, Mo., about an hour north of Kansas City, increased 21% from July 2006 through July 2007, the largest percentage increase in the country.
Scranton, Pa., had an increase of 17% in its Hispanic population, and Hagerstown, Md., in northwestern Maryland near the Pennsylvania border, had an increase of about 14%. The boom in Hispanic population, the majority of which comes from births rather than immigration, continues to be the driving force in U.S. demographics. The Hispanic population increased in 95% of counties with an overall population greater than 10,000.
Many of the metro areas with a fast-growing Hispanic population, such as Madison, Wis., and Charlotte, N.C., have attracted a mix of Hispanic immigrants as well as domestic migrants who have left gateway cities.
"We continue to see growth and spreading of new minorities across the country," says William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. "At the same time, the white population is getting older and becoming more constrained."
CNN has also joined the chorus reporting these new data:
(CNN) -- Debates surrounding immigration and racial issues show that the face of America is changing every day, and a Thursday census report confirms it, noting that almost one in 10 U.S. counties is made up predominantly of minorities. Los Angeles County led the nation with its populations of Hispanics, whites, Asians and Native Americans. Los Angeles County led the nation with its populations of Hispanics, whites, Asians and Native Americans.
The U.S. Census Bureau report says 302 counties are considered "majority-minority," based on 2007 estimates. In terms of sheer numbers, California's Los Angeles County leads the way with more than 7 million minority residents, about 70.9 percent of its residents. The county is home to about 4.7 million Hispanics and about 1 million African-Americans.
Los Angeles County led the nation in Hispanic residents, as well as non-Hispanic white residents (2.9 million), Asians (1.4 million) and Native Americans (146,500). Other counties with more than 1 million minorities include San Bernardino, California; Orange, California; Riverside, California; Santa Clara, California; Bronx, New York; Queens, New York; Kings, New York; Harris, Texas; Bexar; Texas; Dallas, Texas; Harris, Texas; Miami-Dade, Florida; and Cook, Illinois. Leading the nation in terms of percentages is Texas' Starr County, situated on the Mexican border. According to the census report, the county is 98 percent minority and has an estimated population of 61,833, of which 60,169 are Hispanic and 422 are African-American.
Gerry Vasquez at American Taino gives a breakdown of the percentages state by state:
Below is the percentage of the minority population for all 50 states.
Below is the percentage of the minority population for all 50 states.
67.5 District of Columbia
57.7 New Mexico
39.7 New York
37.8 New Jersey
34.7 South Carolina
32.5 North Carolina
20.7 Rhode Island
13.6 South Dakota
10.1 North Dakota
6.6 New Hampshire
6.4 West Virginia
I grew up hearing the word "minority" to describe who I am as a person.
My dad refused to allow me to use it, pointing out that as a citizen of the world, I was certainly not a "minority" in terms of skin color. But within the context of the US, given its history of repression of first Native Americans, then Africans brought here in chains, followed by Asian exclusion, and the annexation of Mexican lands; incorporating them into the US, and then discriminating against Spanish speakers, one cannot help but be affected by the peculiar view, or social construction of us as "the
other" within the borders of the U.S.
What is most important to me, as a Democrat, is that our Party, with its Big Tent strategy and the focus on inclusion rather than exclusion, stands on the threshold of a major change. Not simply the "change" spoken about by Barack Obama, but a change that he actually symbolizes.
In recent weeks we have looked at polling data - especially data that belies the TM meme of "Hispanics won't vote for a black guy", and calm heads like Nate Silver have painted an electoral college map that challenges the "close horse race" theme proffered daily by a host of pun-idiots.
That electoral college map paints a picture, in part, that is reflective of these numbers. How long can America "cling" to an outmoded portrait of our citizens as if we were painted by the Saturday Evening Post, or the DAR, rather than the vital rainbow that we are in actuality?
Do we have any doubt that the strident voices of the shrinking "majority" will become even more rabid as fear is whipped up, anti-immigration messages get louder, an repression becomes more blatant?
The standard bearers of fear; the O'Reilly's, Buchanan's, Scarborough's and Dobbs', are running scared.
As Democrats we should not only embrace these changes, but strategize and build towards the future. The Democratic Party, with a 50 state strategy, and the Obama campaign, emphasising new voter registration are on the correct track. No wonder the Repubs and pun-idiots keep echoing the theme of the white-working class demographic. what they don't mention is that very demographic is shrinking. They play directly to the fears of this group, the fear of being overwhelmed by a sea of faces, who may look different, but who have the same dreams of the "majority"; education, jobs, opportunity, a home, health-care and political freedom.
Take a good look at the numbers. Let's plan ahead, while we take advantage of these shifts right now. Let's paint Texas and Florida, Arizona, Mississippi and Nevada blue by 2012.
El pueblo unido jamás será vencido (the people united will never be defeated) Together we can embrace the rainbow. Si se puede.
(cross-posted to DailyKos)