Deterred by immigration laws and the lackluster economy, the population growth of Hispanics and Asians in the United States has slowed unexpectedly, causing the government to push back estimates on when minorities will become the nation’s majority by as much as a decade.
Census data released May 14 also showed that fewer Hispanics were migrating to suburbs and newly emerging immigrant areas in the Southeast, including Arkansas, Georgia, and Tennessee, staying put instead in traditional gateway locations such as California.
The nation’s overall minority population continues to rise steadily, adding 2.3 percent in 2008, to 104.6 million, or 34 percent of the total population. But the slowdown among Hispanics and Asians continues to shift conventional notions on when the tipping point in U.S. diversity will come—estimated to occur more than three decades from now. Growth rates for the black population remain somewhat flat.
Thirty-six states had lower Hispanic growth in 2008 compared with the year before. In contrast, cities in California, Illinois, and New Jersey showed gains.
A version of this article appeared in the May 20, 2009 edition of Education Week