A New American Dream?

The United States is arguably still the world’s greatest super power.  Yet, just who makes up that superpower is changing.  White people, excluding Latinos, are expected to see their influence and numbers diminish from a 70% share of the population today to a bare majority by 2050.

Figures recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau show that 50.4 percent of births were from minority groups between July 2010 and July 2011.  William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution, comments in the The Guardian:

When you have more than half the births within minority groups, that sets the stage for huge change in this country…It means that before long young adults in America will look dramatically different from those who came before.

Minority groups are already clearly in the majority in Hawaii (77.1 percent minority), the District of Columbia (64.7 percent), California (60.3 percent), New Mexico (59.8 percent) and Texas (55.2 percent).   As children born in the United States become full United States citizens, it means that minority children will soon become voters and thereby have more and more political sway, giving them the ability to change the country from within.

As debates currently rage about immigration levels, people likely do not realise that much growth in minority groups comes from within the country – especially because minority groups have higher fertility rates than white people.  In the coming years the childless couples of the ageing baby boomer generation are going to have very different political concerns to the much younger minority population, such as pension plans, while younger minorities will likely be more concerned with education and lower taxes (in direct conflict with pension plans!).

The figures make disparate income and skill levels worrying.  The Guardian reports that:

Poverty rates are about three times as high for African Americans and Hispanics as they are for whites, while a shocking 40% of adult Hispanics ended their education before they reached high school. In the past, these socio-economic problems could be brushed under the carpet as relatively marginal incumbrances, but now they are marching their way to the front and centre of US society.

This could pose a problem for the country in the future.  If majority groups are to become the majority then they will have to upskill and be better provided for if the United States is to maintain its economic position in the world.  At least to some extent this will happen naturally if language barriers currently present a problem for new immigrants – their children will not have these same challenges to face.

Yet, perhaps these figures don’t represent such a change for the country after all – America’s philosophy has always been to provide a home to any and all who want to make the American dream their own has it not?  This brings a much more interesting question to the fore – are these immigrants taking on America’s constitutional values or are they slowly changing the country into something new altogether?

This article was originally published on MercatorNet.com under a Creative Commons Licence.


After practising law for the last four years, most recently as a junior barrister, Shannon has decided to complete the graduate diploma in secondary education this year to become an English and religion teacher in a Catholic school.

  • Vishal Mehra

    “America’s constitutional values ”
    You might elaborate here. Exactly what values do the immigrants might lack?
    Right to privacy?

    • Doubting Thomas

      Look at the countries that formed them.

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  • publiusnj

    I think conservatives hurt their cause greatly by deeming Hispanics as something other than white (as in: “White people, excluding Latinos”).  In fact, most Hispanics are white and have a centuries old Christian heritage.  How do they differ from other American whites?  Primarily, in that they came here later than other Ethnic groups.  Yet, the same can be said about lots of ethnic groups, all of them got here later than the English (except, of course, for some hispanics).  Yet those other ethnic groups are now deemed part of the disappearing majority. 

    The only real difference between Hispnics and other white ethnics is that the great bulk of Hispanic in-migration occurred after the Democrats established their strategy of peeling off part of the population into defined “minority groups.”  ther may be some historic reasons related to slavery for considering Blacks a disadvantaged minority, but the Hispanic case is a far different one.  In this generation, Hispanics are marrying non-Hispanics at a rapid rate–just the way Irish marry Italians, etc.– and by the next generation (when whites will  supposedly disappear into a rainbow sea of minorities), the Hispanics will be about as assimilated as the Irish and Italians are now.

    IOW, we ought not accept the Democrats’ tactic of “divide and conquer.”  It was tyrannical when practiced by the Romans, and it is equally harmful to this day.

    • You’re right on the money publiusnj.  My grandmother’s family fought on the losing side in the Mexican-American War in California, after having been there from the 1700’s, and were sent across the border afterwards.  They came back across into Arizona in the early 1900’s, where my grandmother was born.  She married the son of an Austrian/Hungarian immigrant.  Her son married a woman of English and Irish descent.  Then they had me and a bunch of other kids.  I identify as Hispanic, and the census rules consider me Hispanic.  Unless you asked me, you wouldn’t be able to tell.  My wife is of English and Irish descent.  My children do not identify themselves as Hispanic, but most of them looked like little Mexican babies when they were born.  Their hair lightened as they became children.  

  • Stan

    The problem is not one of race but of a coming lower average education and resource level in the US that is going to  lower the productivity beyond repair in this country. Middle class college educated people create businesses, educate students, discover new technologies, and relatedly create jobs.  This rising tide lifts the opportunities of the poor economically and educationally.  Our middle class birthrate decline will eventually send us to an economic stagnation we will not likely get out of.   A receding tide will lower all boats.

    • reets46

      Yes Stan…  The declining birth rate in America is our biggest challenge to improving our economic growth.  We’ve never seen an economic recovery without people. 

      We’ve just dipped below replacement levels here in the US.  Abortion, and birth control have been the key to this demise of people in our culture. 

      I hope the immigrants from south and central America keep coming to the US.  It is our only hope for the future of our country.  Remember, the Yankees pretty much dissappeared and the cuture was saved by the millions of Italian, Irish and other European immigrants.  Who cares what color we are as long as we have people willing to have children and willing to work for the American dream?