Saturday, October 21, 2006
The Associated Press has an intriguing story about what America will look like when we hit 400 million people, which is projected to happen in fewer than 40 years. White people won't be the majority, and as a result, forecasters say, attitudes about race will be much more evolved than today. And the South will play a major role:
What will 400 million look like? If demographers are right, we'll hit that mark by 2043. They and other futurists envision a typical American neighborhood that year will be something like this:
More than likely it'll be located in the South or West, despite scarce water resources and gas prices that make $3 a gallon look like a bargain. Barely half of the community's residents will be white, and one in four whites will be senior citizens. Nearly one in four people will be Latino and multiracial Americans will be commonplace.
"We're going to be growing for the next 50 or 100 years, but it's not because of the birthrate," said John Bongaarts, vice president of the Population Council, a nonprofit in New York. "If the birthrate were to drop we'd have a very different future ahead. If we were not living longer and had no migrants we wouldn't be growing at all."
The U.S. will keep getting more racially and ethnically diverse - by 2043, it will be about 15 percent non-Hispanic black, 8 percent Asian and 24 percent Hispanic.
Ideas about race that hold sway now, simply won't then, just as the attitudes of 30 years ago have changed.
For example, in the 1970s one in three whites favored laws that barred marriage between blacks and whites; in recent years it's barely one in 10.
Bump! Thanks for this, Donna. I'm so bookmarking that article--I have a feeling I'll be citing it many, many times... Cheers, TH
- Tom Head
I remember hearing in the 1990's about the demographics changing in major cities by the turn of the century, so I'm not surprised by this at all. As for the increase in multiracial people, that's cool too. Most of us in this country are not 100% anything. We just go by dominant traits. If I'm still here in 2043, I'll be a senior citizen that will hopefully be in her right mind and be able to tell those young whippersnappers how stupid folks used to be back in the day about ethnicity.