While many suppressed a gasp, the US population passed a numerical milestone: 100 million minority citizens.
The nation’s minority population reached 100.7 million, according to the national and state estimates by race, Hispanic origin, sex and age released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. A year ago, the minority population totaled 98.3 million.
“About one in three U.S. residents is a minority,” said Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon. “To put this into perspective, there are more minorities in this country today than there were people in the United States in 1910. In fact, the minority population in the U.S. is larger than the total population of all but 11 countries.”But wait, there is more to get your attention:
Hispanics accounted for almost half (1.4 million) of the national population growth of 2.9 million between July 1, 2005, and July 1, 2006.and
With a 3.4 percent increase between July 1, 2005, and July 1, 2006, Hispanic was the fastest-growing minority group. Asian was the second fastest-growing minority group, with a 3.2 percent population increase during the 2005-2006 period. The population of non-Hispanic whites who indicated no other race grew by 0.3 percent during the one-year period.It should be clear that we in the present majority have an unworkable business plan. While we think of children in terms of expense and hassle, other cultures see their future in progeny. Though the argument can be made that rising prosperity will temper fertility rates of the most fecund groups, it seems clear that laws alone cannot preserve a culture which fails to heed the basic biologic imperative: propagate life.
My greatest regret as a parent is not being more of one - we stopped too soon. Perhaps having the ability to choose will doom us to the melancholy land of fulfilled wishes. I do not join critics who use this trend to condemn those who have made the choice to not have children - a particularly unkind group - but to note the all too obvious consequences, and speculate on their possible meaning.
At the same time, how shall we raise those children we did make time for? A great experiment on a grand scale is providing an illuminating insight:
In Shanghai — or Beijing, or Shenyang, or Hangzhou — children not in school are seen in the presence of one and usually more adult supervisors: parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles, people from the neighborhood. But in this one afternoon in Mumbai we came across many scenes of what can only be called roving bands of kids. They were playing cricket in dirt lots. They were throwing stones. They were playing tag. They were running around without watchful adults immediately in sight. [More]As the immigration debate rages today, it is fair, I believe, to grant fuller hearing to those who will actually populate the future - not just the present.