business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post reports that minorities, currently about one-third of the US population, will represent a majority of the nation’s population in just 34 years, by 2042. This demographic shift will happen even sooner among the nation’s children; by 2023 more than half the nation’s children will be what we now think of as minorities.

By 2050, 54 percent of all US residents will be non-Caucasians, as will 62 percent of the nation’s children. Hispanics are expected to represent the lion’s share of the growth.

These statistics are courtesy of the US Census Bureau, which says that these shifts are actually taking place sooner than it expected.

Other projections made by the Census Bureau:

• The nation’s total population will increase from about 302 million today to 439 million by 2050.

• The number of people who identify themselves as bi-racial is expected to more than triple by 2050 to 16.2 million, or about four percent of the total population.

• By 2050, the 65-and-older demographic - Baby Boomers - is expected to account for more than one in five US residents, compared to one in eight today. And the 85-and-older population is expected to more than triple, and will represent four percent of US residents.

• By 2050, the percentage of the population that is considered to be “of working age” will drop from 63 percent to 57 percent of the total population.

KC's View:
God bless America.

There will be some who will say that this is a good enough reason to stop or severely limit immigration, because that’s the only way to exert any control over these trends. But without getting into the whole immigration argument, I have to say that when I read these numbers I tend to get a sense that this is sort of the natural evolution of things.

After all, the whole notion of “majorities” and “minorities” is a human construct; we’ve imposed these descriptions based on the things that separate us, not the things that connect and bind us together.

Even if it sometimes is an imperfect experiment in democracy and a human quilt that can fray and threaten to unravel, the US, it seems to me, is like water that finds its own level. And that level is always changing, ebbing and flowing.

So we ought to embrace these changes as being emblematic of America, not antithetical.

Not to say that there won’t be challenges. Businesses that have to cater to this shifting population will doubtless have to make adjustments. But again, such is life.