Today, I am reposting an article I received from Delancy Place, which sends a brief daily email containing an excerpt or quote that it views as interesting or noteworthy. The selection that follows is taken from the book: “Brown Is the New White,” by Steve Phillips. It contains revealing data about America’s changing demographic landscape–one that many of us have suspected was changing, but perhaps never knew just how much.
I make no judgments one way or the other about these significant transformations in the American diaspora, but I find them useful in understanding the ever-widening gulfs that appear to be dividing Americans along racial, ethnic, political, and religious lines. Significantly, these changes seem inexorable, which for some may be disquieting. For others, they are merely the reality of inevitable population shifts in America produced to a degree by escalating and cumulative immigration–both legal and illegal.
Please read on.
Each day, the United States’ population increases by more than 8,000 people, and nearly 90 percent of that growth consists of people of color:
“People of color now comprise more than 37 percent of the U.S. population, greater than triple the 12 percent in 1965. The two fastest-growing groups have been Latinos and Asian Americans. In 1965 there were fewer than 9 million Latinos in the United States; by 2013 that number had soared to 54 million. During that same forty-eight-year span, the Asian American population has grown from 2 million to more than 18 million people.
“The country’s demographic revolution over the past fifty years has given birth to a New American Majority. Progressive people of color now comprise 23 percent of all the eligible voters in America, and progressive Whites account for 28 percent of all eligible voters. Together, these constituencies make up 51 percent of the country’s citizen voting-age population, and that majority is getting bigger every single day.
“The New American Majority is growing larger every single day (every minute, actually). Each day, the size of the U.S. population increases by more than 8,000 people, and nearly 90 percent of that growth consists of people of color. To understand this startling reality, one must look at the rate of births and deaths, and the rise in immigration.
“In terms of births, as of 2011, the majority of babies born in America (50.4 percent) are now people of color. A baby is born every seven seconds, resulting in 12,343 births per day. At the other end of the age spectrum, the racial composition of the over-65 segment of the population is quite different. Because of centuries of racially exclusionary immigration policies (see Chapter 3), the total U.S. population was nearly 90 percent White as recently as 1950. As a result, the current over-65 population is 78 percent, White. Using that figure to estimate the racial breakdown of the country’s deaths — which occur at a rate of 6,646 per day (once every thirteen seconds) — it’s clear that while a majority of births are people of color, deaths are overwhelmingly White.
“What this means for net population growth, then, is that the White birth number of 6,048 new babies each day (49 percent of the babies born every day) are largely canceled out by the 5,204 White deaths every day. For people of color, the 6,295 daily births (51 percent of all births) are only reduced by 1,442 deaths, leaving a net increase of 4,853 people of color every day.
“And then there are the immigration numbers. Implied, feared, but unstated in America’s heated immigration debate is a remarkable population statistic — more than 90 percent of all immigrants to America are people of color. In terms of legal immigration alone, 2,618 people are added to the U.S. population each day, nearly all of them people of color (reflecting the reality that most of the people outside of the United States are people of color). When those numbers are added to the net increase in births and deaths for people of color, the bottom line is that each and every day, 7,261 people of color are added to the U.S. population, in contrast to the White growth of 1,053 people.”
[Clearly, for some Americans, this drastic change in the national demographic can’t happen soon enough. We hear it often from TV pundits who talk about the “browning” of America. For others, however, this wholesale shifting of America’s racial and ethnic balance is unsettling and even troubling because for them it represents a massive transformation in an America they are most familiar and comfortable with. R. Yates]
Below is information about Steve Phillips and his book:
author: Steve Phillips. Phillips is a national political leader, civil rights lawyer, and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
title: Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority
publisher: The New Press