Our Country is Becoming More Ethnically Diverse

According to a new report, minorities accounted for almost 49% of U.S. births in the year ending July 1,2009, a record high. Minorities now make up more than half the population in four states (California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Texas) and the District of Columbia. The level of diversity varies widely from region to region — from as high as 79 in Hawaii and 68 in California to as low as 10 in Maine and Vermont and 13 in West Virginia.

Much of the rapid growth in diversity is driven by an influx of young Hispanic immigrants, whose birthrates are higher than those of non-Hispanic whites, creating a race and ethnic chasm and a widening age gap. Record levels of births among minorities in the past decade are moving the USA a step closer to a demographic milestone in which no group commands a majority, new Census estimates show. There are more than 500 counties that have a majority of minority children. The population is changing to minority from the bottom up.  Nationwide, 48.3% of kids under age 5 are minorities, while 19.9% of people 65 and older are.

In Gwinnett County, Ga., near Atlanta, one of seven counties where minorities became the majority last year, 88% of the under-20 population was non-Hispanic white in 1990.

As our country becomes more ethnically diverse, schools are the ones being first affected.  There is a need for schools across the country to do early identification, plan to hire more bi-lingual teachers and establish more ESL classes.