Friday, May 2, 2008

The changing U.S. population; will we remain "e pluribus unum"?

Much attention is paid to the increasing numbers of Hispanic immigrants, largely illegal immigrants, adding to the population numbers but little attention is given to the Hispanic births in the United States that change our country’s demographics.

New Census Bureau data indicates the Hispanic population in the country is now more than 15% of the total and this is mainly due to children born of illegal immigrants in the United States and to births among Hispanic people already in the country. Also reported by the Census Bureau is that there are 45.5 million Hispanics in the U.S., which is an increase of almost 10 million more than there were in 2000; at that time Hispanics made up 12.6% of the population as compared to 15% today. Hispanics were responsible for half of the U.S. population increase between 2000 and 2007 and also for the United States maintaining a population growth rate that exceeds the 2.1% necessary for avoiding a decrease in population as is occurring throughout Europe.

Whereas in the 1990’s the increase in the Hispanic population was due to the surge of largely illegal immigration, between 2006 and 2007 about 62% of the increase in Hispanics came from births. In other words, if we close the borders, which of course we won’t, there is still going to be a large increase in the Hispanic population in the country and they will continue to be an increasing proportion of the total just due to the high birth rate.

Hispanics tend to have more children and larger families than other ethnic groups. The population is also younger on average so the large number of births doesn’t outpace deaths. Between July 2000 and 2007, there were 8.4 Hispanic births for every death; African-Americans had 2.4 births per death and the ratio for white Caucasians was 1.6.

The average white female in the U.S. has 1.8 children, which is under the replacement rate of 2.1 necessary to maintain a stable population; whereas Hispanic women have on average 2.8 children.

In the years 2000 and 2007 sixteen states (among them West Virginia, Illinois and New Jersey) experienced a decline in the white population according to the new Census data. For the same period whites were a majority of population growth in only 11 states.

It must be recognized that the Hispanic people in the United States, both those who gain legal citizenship and those who become citizens by virtue of being born here, will become a growing political base sought after by both Democrats and Republicans. This effect is magnified by the fact that Hispanics are expanding their presence beyond the southwest.

Hispanics increasingly are venturing beyond their traditional centers of population and moving to the East, Southeast and the Midwest, in search of jobs and a lower cost of living. Therefore, the political importance of this segment of the population will be felt around the country and not just at the places of entry.

This explains why presidential candidates are courting Hispanics aggressively in the campaign and why advertisements are run in Spanish. It has been reported that Hillary Clinton's popularity among Hispanic voters helped her win primaries in Texas and California, though others would say it was due to "Operation Chaos" initiated by Rush Limbaugh who suggested Republicans temporarily change registration to "Democrat" to enable them to vote for Clinton in those states, thus keeping her in the race and continue to cause division in the Democrat party. Victories in Texas, California and Ohio were key to her survival in the race for the Democrat nomination.

Another consequence of the growing Hispanic population is in how that affects the country’s economy. Hispanic spending is greater than any other minority group because they have more disposable income than any other minority group. It is estimated that Hispanic spending today is about $860 billion a year but it is expected to be about $1.3 trillion by 2012, according to monitors of this sort of thing at the University of Georgia's Selig Center.

A serious problem for those concerned about illegal immigration is that Hispanics tend to be critical of those seeking stronger border control and efforts to deny benefits to illegal immigrants and are more favorable to those willing to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants. Regardless whether or not a Hispanic is a U.S. citizen, these same political biases occur. Therefore, it will become increasingly difficult to successfully elect to congress and the senate candidates that oppose illegal immigration and all that goes with such opposition. To me that signals eventual changes in the political power base and the ability to keep American values and traditions as have existed for the past two hundred years; unless there is a turn-about in the thinking of second and third generation Hispanics.

Immigrants are good for America. Indeed, we are the great nation we are because our country welcomed immigrants. However in the past those coming here were anxious to become Americans and as a result we continued to have a "melting pot" of citizens. Unfortunately, for some time people coming to the United States did not have the same desire to assimilate into the American society and encouraged by the new "political correctness", they remained apart so that instead of a "melting pot" of different cultures remaining and forming one American culture, a "salad" was created whereby each culture remains as a separate entity. This defeats the "American dream" and breeds internal divisions and loss of loyalty the United States of America. We can see this when people waive foreign flags and protest to support illegal immigrants and illegal immigration. If one day such thinking prevails, we will lose the spirit of our national motto "e pluribus unum", "out of many, one"!


Solange said...

The demographic winter is coming to the US.

Aging workforce.

Good information on the subject. Welcome for a visit.
Have a nice day.

Solange Miller

Rebel Radius said...

America’s inner contradiction was the altruist-collectivist ethics. Altruism is incompatible with freedom, with capitalism and with individual rights.

One cannot combine the pursuit of happiness with the moral status of a sacrificial animal.

- Ayn Rand