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Possible Demographic change in US

07-01-2010 10:36 BJT

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Demographers with the United States Census Bureau believe the country's population could become majority-minority as early as 2042.

So what does this racial and ethnic change mean for the US and the world? Reporter Jeff Napshin has the story from Washington.

It's slow subtle change, but the US Census Bureau say the United States is gradually becoming multi-ethnic and less white.

William Frey, Demographer, Brookings Institution, said, "America has a history of being a melting pot. People from England and Europe..and now from all over the world. From Latin America, Asia, China, and Korea."

Demographer William Frey says a combination of immigration and higher birth rates among immigrants is causing the change--which could make the US majority-minority by the year 20-42.

The Census Bureau's population projection for 20-50 estimates there will be roughly 440-million Americans. Of that number--less than half--203 million will be non-Hispanic white.

By contrast, the Asian population will more than double, and the Hispanic population is expected to rise from 15 per cent of the country to nearly a third.

David Waddington, US Census Bureau, said, "You have a younger population, Hispanics, who have a higher fertility rate with more children and are growing more rapidly."

"So what does this change mean? Well some experts believe it will affect everything -- from how businesses deal with customers to how teachers deal to students. And it could raise ethnic tensions."

William Frey, Demographer, Brookings Institution, said, "There may be conflict and tension but it will be short lived. I think we have a history in the US of controversy when people are different but soon they adapt."

The other big impact could be on politics. Political leaders will have to be careful what positions they take on controversial issues like immigration.

In the near term it could lead to tougher laws as recently seen in Arizona. But politicians will have to weigh the short term gain against the danger of angering a large group of future voters.

William Frey, Demographer, Brookings Institution, said, "They understand how the population is changing and who are the sources of that change. People who are farsighted will see that they're important voters after all we have a president is multi-ethnic and part immigrant."

Frey says immigration will remain a contentious issue--with roughly a million new people coming to America each year. But he believes that as the melting pot continues to grow more diverse, views will slowly change.

William Frey, Demographer, Brookings Institution, said, "I think the racial issue will be much less important in the future as more immigrants inter-married and young people are open/friends with people of different races."

The government is already collecting data from the 20-10 census--and could have some surprises to report next year.

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source:

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