This is yesterday’s news – literally and figuratively.
The front page of yesterday’s USA Today read: Census data shows minorities now a majority of U.S. births.
“More than half of all babies born last year were members of minority groups, the first time in U.S. history. It’s a sign of how swiftly the USA is becoming a nation of younger minorities and older whites.”
Figuratively speaking, this announcement was only a matter of time. The trend has been building for the past few decades, surging with the Hispanic demographic in the US. This Hispanic Population Boom has been happening in for some time and this is fueling the growth of the minority numbers as a whole.
In this conversación on Minority Majorities, three things stand out – 2 of them are discussed frequently, while the third… not so much.
UNO: MEDIAN AGE
The median age of Hispanics is considerably lower than the median age of Whites. For Hispanics, the median age is 27.6. For Whites, it’s 42.3. Blacks and Asians are in between.
(Red Angle CYA text: All labels here – Hispanic, Whites, Blacks, and Asians were all used by USA TODAY, so it’s cool.)
To put this into perspective, think of the differences between Naya Rivera from Glee and Uma Thurman.
A 15-year difference is a lot.
What is driving this median age gap?
Quick aside for those of us who may have forgotten exactly what a Median is, other than the thing you swerve into when you Facebook while driving.
The number that’s in the middle – half is above, half is below.
Why don’t they just say Average?
Don’t worry about it. No one uses it. It’s the mathematical equivalent of your spleen. It’s just there and it doesn’t do much of anything.
Back to the question at hand: What is driving this median age gap?
Well, have you ever watched a python eat a deer?
But they do.
This is an apt analogy for thinking about USA TODAY’s headline and the age distribution in America. The Baby Boomers, that precocious bunch born between 1946 and 1964, are the largest generation of Americans ever.
In the python analogy, the Boomers = the deer.
As the Boomers age, this giant mass slowly moves from one end of the snake to the other. And because this generation is so large, it’s very visible.
As the Boomers age upward (is there any other way to age?), they are taking the Median Age with them.
DOS :: PROPAGATION OF THE SPECIES
Simply put, Hispanics are having more kids than other ethnicities. Dovetailing with the Median Age of Hispanics, 27 year-olds have more kids than 42 year-olds.
This makes sense.
Whites are getting married later and having fewer kids. Personally speaking, my parents got married when they were 23 and had 4 kids. I got married when I was 27. I will take proactive steps to ensure there will not be 4 little redanglespanishes running around.
This Married Later-Fewer Kids trend is happening all over the country. When juxtaposed with the Median Age of Hispanics at 27 and larger Hispanic families, it was only a matter of time before we saw the USA TODAY headline.
But… for people who get freaked out by the Minority Majority News, the 3rd point should be taken into consideration as well.
TRES :: NET MIGRATION FROM MX IS DOWN
The Pew Hispanic Center recently reported “The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill.”
Over the last 4 decades, 12M Mexican immigrants moved Norte. As of today, that trend has stopped – or maybe reversed.
So while the Hispanics in the US are growing rapidly, the flow from South to North has halted.
Pew cites several reasons, ranging from the sluggish economy, increased border patrol, increased number of deportations, and the dangers involved in crossing the border illegally.
This Hispanic population boom is a trend. It will continue for the next few decades. It’s nothing to freak out about. It’s simply another factor that should be taken into account when strategizing about business, education, family and well… your life.
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