The Diversity Explosion
The white population in the United States is about to start an irreversible decline in size. A newly published book, The Diversity Explosion, by William Frey, describes the massive demographic shifts that have been taking place, in large measure due to immigration but also due to the tripling of interracial marriages since 1990. Frey places immigrants within the context of the entire American population.
Her says, “I am convinced that the United States is in the midst of a pivotal period ushering in extraordinary shifts in the nation’s racial demographic makeup.
Quoting from his introductory chapter:
What will be different going forward is the sheer size of the minority population in the United States. It is arriving “just in time” as the aging white population begins to decline, bringing with it needed manpower and brain power and taking up residence in otherwise stagnating city and suburban housing markets.
…….a growing diverse, globally connected minority population will be absolutely necessary to infuse the aging American labor force with vitality and to sustain populations in many parts of the country that are facing population declines.
1. the rapid growth of “new minorities”: Hispanics, Asians, and increasingly multiracial populations. During the next 40 years, each of these groups is expected to more than double (see figure 1-2). New minorities have already become the major contributors to U.S. population gains. These new minorities—the products of recent immigration waves as well as the growing U.S.–born generations—contributed to more than three-quarters of the nation’s population growth in the last decade. That trend will accelerate in the future.
2. the sharply diminished growth and rapid aging of America’s white population. Due to white low immigration, reduced fertility, and aging, the white population grew a tepid 1.2 percent in 2000–10. In roughly 10 years, the white population will begin a decline that will continue into the future. This decline will be most prominent among
the younger populations. At the same time, the existing white population will age rapidly, as the large baby boom generation advances into seniorhood.
3. black economic advances and migration reversals. Now, more than a half-century after the civil rights movement began, a recognizable segment of blacks has entered the middle class while simultaneously reversing historic population shifts. The long-standing Great Migration of blacks out of the South has now turned into a wholesale evacuation from the North—to largely prosperous southern locales. Blacks are abandoning cities for the suburbs, and black neighborhood segregation continues to decline. Although many blacks still suffer the effects of inequality and segregation is far from gone, the economic and residential environments for blacks have improved well beyond the highly discriminatory, ghettoized life that most experienced for
much of the twentieth century