New Findings Signal the Beginning of America’s Multi-Ethnic Future

The United States Census Bureau has released new findings that paint a picture of America’s rapidly changing racial composition. From The Huffington Post we have this article on the Census Bureau’s latest findings on the demographics of children under the age of five.

In a first, America’s racial and ethnic minorities now make up about half of the under-5 age group, reflecting sweeping changes by race and class among young people. Due to an aging population, non-Hispanic whites last year recorded more deaths than births.

It’s not hard to see how important these two statistics are when considered together. Here at MMXLII we talk a lot about the inevitable paradigm shift, currently predicted for 2042, when America ceases to have a racial or ethnic majority. We’ve even taken our name from it. Now it’s clear that that shift is already starting, with the current racial majority beginning to shrink for the first time, at the same moment that the first generation with no racial majority at all has appeared.

Based on current rates of growth, whites in the under-5 group are expected to fall below 50 percent this year or next, said Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau’s acting director.

This may be the first generation of Americans without a racial majority, but it’s obvious that it won’t be the last. Here at MMXLII we truly believe that this moment is a historic one, the start of a trend that will soon be defining. On a no doubt related note, we have this story from The Los Angeles Times, reporting on the Census Bureau’s latest findings on the increasing mixed race population.

Mixed or multiracial people are still just a small slice of the American public, but their numbers jumped 6.6% between 2010 and 2012 — four times as fast as the national population, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Experts say their ranks will only continue to swell.

While it’s obvious that the number of mixed race Americans will rise as our country becomes more diverse and the number of interracial marriages increases, what’s especially interesting about this report is the shift it reveals in our attitudes toward race.

[E]xperts say people who were long prodded to think of themselves as only “black” or “white” or “Asian” are becoming more comfortable choosing more than one race.

That conclusion suggests that these demographic changes are being accompanied by a no less significant change in people’s attitudes towards race. As America itself becomes more mixed Americans are becoming more comfortable with that change, more readily recognizing their own diverse backgrounds. At MMXLII we’re excited by both these findings –they’re an exciting reminder of a future that’s going to arrive faster than we might expect. Tell us how you feel about the Census Bureau reports, and the dramatic changes they portend. What about this future excites you? What about it scares you?

 

Photo from Mixed Race Babies.

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