Minorities are increasing their presence in the United States and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The Latino population is driving these transformations. While today one of every eight residents of the United States is Latino, it is projected that Latinos could account for one of every five residents by , one of every four by , and one of every three by Latinos are already having a significant impact on the various societal institutions and on all segments of society in the United States.
Although Latinos represented hardly a blip on the national radar screen only a few decades ago, demographic processes have made Latinos critical to the future social and economic direction of the United States.
Ongoing immigration has significantly affected the Latino experience in the United States. The continued flows of Latino immigrants ensure that the Spanish language and diverse Latino cultures will endure in the United States. The combination of established and newcomer Latinos in the United States further enhances the diversity that exists across and within Latino groups.
The growth of the Latino population has also led to a blurring of many boundaries. Transnational migration has blurred international and identity boundaries. Immigration has blurred the boundaries associated with nativity, even within families. The increasing use of Spanish through its dominance in foreign-language instruction in colleges and universities, its entrance into mainstream popular culture, and the bilingual context in which many Latinos operate have also blurred language boundaries.
But the experiences of the various Latino groups in the United States have been quite different, and even the blurring of place and linguistic boundaries has not eliminated one important distinction. Mexicans and Puerto Ricans are the two groups that were initially incorporated into the United States through warfare. Even U. In contrast, other Latino groups have come to the United States as voluntary immigrants, either escaping political persecution or in search of economic opportunity.
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By and large, these groups have tended to fare better socially and economically, the exception being Dominicans and foreign-born Central Americans. The Latino population needs to be seen as a valuable resource for this country. For example, the business community will increasingly rely on Latinos as entrepreneurs, employees, investors, and consumers. The bilingual and bicultural nature of the Latino population also makes Latinos a valuable resource as the U. The higher education system will increasingly find Latinos among the ranks of potential students and educators.
Political institutions will find that Latinos will play an increasingly powerful role in the outcome of elections, both as voters and as political candidates.
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Additionally, the health care system will increasingly see Latinos as health care recipients and providers. Religious institutions will find that their potential adherents and leaders will increasingly be Latinos. These trends are well underway in the largest states and at the national level; the rising dispersion of Latinos into parts of the country that traditionally have not had Latino populations suggests that all parts of the country will feel the impact of Latino growth.
He is the author of numerous journal articles, book chapters, and technical reports on the demography of Latinos, immigration, social inequality, and race and ethnicity. Latinos and the Changing Face of America. Population Change and Distribution of Latinos in the United States During the s, the Latino population marked its dominance as the ethnic group most responsible for population growth in the United States. Destination States for Latinos The Latino population is concentrated in particular states.
Latinos and the Future U. Population Over the last several decades, the racial and ethnic composition of the U. The Growing Impact of Latinos — Culturally, Economically, and Politically The Latino population needs to be seen as a valuable resource for this country. The Global Auction. Phillip Brown. Small Change.
Michael Edwards. Invisible Capital.
The State of Latinos in the United States - Center for American Progress
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