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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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Latinos in the U.S. South

A few years ago, my son, Greg, and I published a book on Irresistible Forces: Latin American Migration to the United States and Its Effects on the South. We used census and other data to show that the New South was new not just because African-Americans were heading back that way, but because immigrants from Latin America were also heading that way. Many of those migrants are undocumented, but most of the children have been born in the U.S., and this is changing the entire demographic of southern states. We picked up on this theme in a chapter in a book just out this week, published by Springer. Here's the abstract:
In the South, as in much of the United States, the demographic train has left the station. For over a decade the region has been attractive to migrants leaving either a Latin American country or areas of the United States with weaker economies and/or higher costs of living. Our projections going out to 2040 show continued growth under virtually all assumptions, signaling a permanent shift in what had traditionally not been a destination for Hispanics. Using U.S. Census data and other sources to develop projections, the core of our argument is that as the cohort of older (65 years and over) Latinos grows in North Carolina, there will be concomitant political shifts. Children who are citizens will eventually become eligible to vote, legislative districts will be transformed, and Hispanic adults will be taking care of a growing elderly population.
The U.S. Census Bureau no longer makes projections of the population by age and ethnicity at the state level, so we undertook the task ourselves, with results that show that "the train has left the station," (and thanks to Irene Tienda Rumbaut for that title!) by which we mean that the demographics of the South are in the process of being changed forever, whether the South likes it or not!

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