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 12th (it came out in 2015), 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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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Latinos in the New South

My wife and I just returned from a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, where we baby-sat while our younger son, Greg (Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at UNC, Charlotte) and his wife attended the SECOLAS meetings in Cartagena, Colombia. I was also invited to give a talk to a joint session, if you will, of the Geography and Political Science departments and that was a lot of fun. Greg was back from South America by then and several of us went out for lunch after the talk to a Mexican restaurant near campus. That was on top of the fact that while Greg and Amy were out of town we took the grandkids to dinner at another Mexican restaurant. Indeed, there are lots of really good Mexican restaurants in Charlotte, as there are now throughout the southern states. And even restaurants that are not Mexican restaurants per se are likely to offer burritos, taco salads, or other Mexican-derived dishes. Naturally, that's a consequence of the--recent--rise in the Latin American origin population in these states. Greg and I talk about this in our book Irresistible Forces.

I thought about this especially because while we were in Charlotte my older son, John (Professor of Organizational Behavior and Leadership at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland) sent me a link to a map posted on Twitter by Michael Clemens (@m_clem) showing the distribution of Mexican laborers in the U.S. in 1930:

You can see the amazing sparsity of Mexicans in the U.S. south back in 1930--indeed, it is the most conspicuous blank in the map. It is a very different world demographically now than then.

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