Thursday, October 4, 2012

US to become white-minority country by 2042 – census


US to become white-minority country by 2042[/caption]

The percentage of white newborns in the United States stood at 49,5 in 2011, according to the latest census  which caused mixed feelings among experts. Meanwhile, minorities made up 50,5 percent of US births last year, the census revealed, referring to immigrants from Latin America, Africa, Asia and other regions.

In 2011, the estimated Latino population in the US was 52 million people, constituting 16,7 percent of the nation’s total population. The African American population stood at 43,9 million, while the Asian population increased by three percent last year, according to the census.

Minorities increased to 36,6 percent of the total US population, the census revealed, singling out Hawaii, California, New Mexico, Texas and Washington D.C., where minority populations exceed 50 percent. Non-Hispanic whites will become a minority in the US by 2024, according to the census which described 2011 as a turning point in the country’s history.

Last year’s reduction in the number of white births in the US was caused by a quick aging of the white population, a higher birth rate among racial minorities and ever-increasing legal and illegal immigration. In 2011, the median age for the white population was 42 years, compared to 28 years for Hispanics. As for the median age for the African American and Asian populations, it amounted to slightly more than 30 years.

Meanwhile, sociologists have no regrets about sweeping yet explicable changes in the US’ racial makeup which they say may finally add to the country’s prosperity. William Frey, of the Brookings Institution, had this to say:”Without immigrants, we’d be essentially youthless. We had a perfect storm. We got them all coming, younger immigrants having children, at a time when we really needed them.”

Many have, however, expressed frustration about the fact that racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the US last year – a demographic trend that may be fraught with far-reaching consequences. It is far from secret that principles of political correctness and the so-called affirmative action see more and more people benefitting from calling themselves racial minorities. This is especially the case with those hunting for a job in the US, where many prefer to give themselves out as African Americans.

The US demographic transition’s political implications are yet to be assessed. One thing is clear already now, though. With the monopoly of White Anglo-Saxon Protestants coming to a close, the results of the 2008 presidential election in the US will soon stop raising eyebrows, experts say, adding that taking racial issues  off the table is just a matter of time. As for the Republicans and the Democrats, they will finally have to adjust their racial minorities-related programs to modern-day realities.

As for racial minorities themselves, they mainly support the Democrats who, for their part, recently endorsed a host of radical initiatives by President Barack Obama, including a proposal to back same-sex marriages. This will certainly prompt many family values-leaning immigrants to stop supporting the Democrats in the foreseeable future.

Some US experts fear that the demographic transition may ride roughshod over their country’s national unity. They point to the fact that many US politicians already speak English and Spanish when campaigning in some US states. African American public figures, for their part, continue to demand the recognition of the so-called ebonics,  a term that was originally intended to refer to the language of all people descended from enslaved Black Africans, particularly in West Africa, the Caribbean, and North America. With the Asian population showing signs of growth in the US, the next few years may see the US society facing a problem of recognizing  Chinese as the fourth official language.

Boris Volkhonsky, senior research fellow from the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies.

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