This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Friday, February 1, 2013

America's Changing Demographics

The latest effort to get immigration reform going in Congress is, by all media accounts, a reflection of the changing demographics of the US. Of course, those changing demographics are themselves a result of immigration to the US, so there is an interesting circularity here. The demographic fit in the respective age structures especially of the US and Mexico has been economically beneficial to both countries. But the rise in the undocumented population has also been a result of the increased border enforcement that essentially traps people in the US because they can no longer go back and forth as the economy ebbs and flows. All of these things have meant that the Latino population, which is younger (i.e., more likely to be of reproductive age) than average, is growing quickly. Indeed, quickly enough that new population projections out for the State of California suggest that in a year from now (2014) Hispanics will surpass non-Hispanic whites in California, such that neither group will be a majority, but overall it will be a minority-majority state. 

There are some exceptions in the state, however. In San Diego, where I live, it will be another 20-25 years before that numeric equality of Latinos and non-Hispanic whites occurs, as I noted in today's San Diego Union-Tribune. San Diego County has always been a demographic outlier along the US-Mexico border, where every other county has had a Latino majority for many years now.

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