The U.S. Census Bureau reports minority births are a majority for the first time in U.S. history. As of July 1, 2011, 50.4 percent of our nation’s population less than one year old was minorities. This milestone includes births among Latinos, blacks, Asians and those of mixed race.
While this news may not sound like such a big deal, it truly is. As these children grow up, it means more minorities will be taking more leadership roles in corporate America, nonprofits and government. For the foreseeable future, minorities will increasingly have a seat at the table in decision making. And for a country that at times has struggled with issues of race and the blending of cultures, this is a good thing.
This tidal wave of change has been building for years, primarily the result of immigration over the last three decades. Hispanics make up the majority of immigrants to the U.S., and Census data shows they tend to be younger and have more children compared to other minority and racial segments. Most already know about the expanding influence of Hispanics in the U.S. For many years, the Hispanic segment has led the way in population growth in the U.S. By July 2011, Hispanics were the most populous minority in the U.S. numbering 52 million, with their population increasing 3.1 percent since 2010. And, with the Census’ own analysis showing an undercount of minorities during the 2010 Census, the number of minorities may be even greater.
America has been a melting pot for people of many races and cultures since our founding. It has taken centuries, but minorities now are nurturing the majority of youth in our country. These changes have implications now and in the future, including how organizations interact with the public in ways that are sensitive to language and cultural differences. Our country’s minorities of blacks, Asians and of course Hispanics, who come from various countries and cultures, will want to buy different products and will have differing opinions about key issues. It will take smart and flexible organizations that are able to adapt quickly to provide the products and services our changing public wants.