A Closer Look at what Majority Minority America Will Likely Mean

There are now more white deaths every year than white births.  U.S. population is growing overall.  Therefore, non-whites will eventually outnumber whites in America.  The census bureau projects that this will happen by about 2043.

But the sociologist, Richard Alba, says not so fast, see here and here.  This narrative is misleading.  Here is a summary of his argument:

  • Many non-whites are assimilating into the American mainstream, just as white ethnic groups did before them. There is a surge in mixing across ethno-racial lines.
  • The mainstream can expand to accept a visible degree of racial diversity, as long as there are shared understandings between individuals with different ethno-racial backgrounds, which allow them to interact comfortably.
  • Such a shared understanding will be hardest to achieve between African Americans and whites because of the long history of racial discrimination in America.
  • More than 10% of U.S.-born babies have one parent who is nonwhite or Hispanic and one who is white and not Hispanic. This is a sign of growing integration into the mainstream by members of minority groups, especially those from recent immigrant groups such as Asians and Hispanics.
  • Not surprisingly, Americans of mixed Asian and white descent have more contact with white relatives than with Asian relatives (because they are geographically closer).
  • When they marry, 72% of Asian-white women and 64% of Asian-white men, take white spouses. The government nevertheless counts them and their progeny as nonwhite.
  • By the 2050s, Mr. Alba estimates that one-third of babies with white ancestry will also have Hispanic or nonwhite ancestry. The idea of who belongs to a racial majority or minority will become completely scrambled.
  • America needs a new narrative. The current one is about conflict and collision between groups.  A better one would allow minorities to become a part of the mainstream without abandoning their distinctiveness.

Conclusion.  It is misleading to classify all children born to racially mixed parents as nonwhite.  Many such children will easily assimilate into the mainstream of American society by personal preference.  To divide Americans into two categories, pure white and nonwhite, is not only divisive, it also ignores the large degree with which ethno-racial assimilation is occurring in American society.

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2 thoughts on “A Closer Look at what Majority Minority America Will Likely Mean

  1. Almost everyone who has submitted a saliva sample for DNA testing probably has a small percentage that originates from an odd nationality. Mine is 1% eastern Europe, and 95% is connected to a specific area of Sweden. Some things connected with ethnic diversity over many generations just don’t change. In the meantime, I am a believer in hybrid vigor. Se la vie!

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